1,280,000 in Mali (2009 census), increasing. Population total all countries: 2,114,000.
Northwest, Kayes Region, Kayes, Yélimané, and Nioro circles; Koulikoro Region, Nara, Kolokani, Banamba, and Koulikoro circles; Ségou Region, Ségou, and Baraouéli circles. 6 principal towns, 163 villages. Also in Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia (Serahule), Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, United States.
4 (Educational). Recognized language (1982, Decree No. 159 of 19 July, Article 1).
Geriga (Giriga), Kinbakka, Kinxenna. Giriga dialect heavily influenced by Hassaniya Arabic [mey].
Ethnic autonym: Soninkanxaane. The Bambara refer to the Soninke as Marka and their language as Markakan; this name is different from the Marka [rkm] language. Muslim.