5,940,000 in India (2001 census). Total users in all countries: 6,221,200 (as L1: 6,219,300; as L2: 1,900).
Bihar, Bhagalpur and Munger districts; Jharkhand, Manbhum and Hazaribagh districts; Odisha, Balasore district; West Bengal, Birbhum and Bankura districts; Assam; Mizoram; Tripura.
4 (Educational). Statutory language of provincial identity in Jharkhand State (1950, Constitution, Schedule VIII), amended 2003.
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; non-ergative; both tense and aspect; passives and voice; nontonal; 33 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes.
A Scheduled Tribe. Language of Santhal tribals of Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh). Hindu, traditional religion.