17,000 in Afghanistan (2011 S. Beck), increasing. Population total all countries: 58,000. Ethnic population: 17,000.
Badakhshan Province, Wakhan district, along the Panj river as far as Sarhad village. 42 villages. The center of the Wakhi-speaking area is Khandud village.
Dialect intelligibility reportedly not a serious problem even with those in other countries, although intelligibility may not be complete on initial contact between speakers from different countries. Lexical similarity: 84% with Ishkoman and Gojal dialects, 89% with Yasin and Gojal, 91% with Ishkoman and Yasin.
Vigorous. Home, community, work. All ages. Positive attitudes. 5,000 also use Dari [prs]. Men are bilingual in Dari in order to function in every-day situations. Very few women are bilingual.