770,000 (2000 census).
Sumatra island, Sumatera Utara Province; Nias, Batu islands off west coast; Northwest dialect: Alasa area, west in Sirombu and Mandrehe areas; Central dialect: Gomo area, south in Teluk Dalam and Batu islands.
North Nias (Gunung Sitoli), South Nias, West Nias, Northwest Nias, Central Nias.
Vigorous. Positive attitudes. Also use Indonesian [ind].
Latin script [Latn].
North dialect (particularly Gunung Sitoli) has high prestige and is a lingua franca in Nias. The South dialect (particularly Teluk Dalam variety) has lower prestige, especially in northern Nias, and is considered by many Nias speakers from other areas as unrefined. Christian.