200,000 in Philippines (2007 SIL), increasing. 20,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 215,000.
Muslim Mindanao autonomous region, southern Sulu, Tawi-Tawi Island Province, Tawi-Tawi, Simunul, Sibutu, and other major islands. Also in Malaysia.
Simunul is central, prestige dialect. Bongao dialect from political, economic center of Southern Sama. Muslim.