4,880 (1994 SIL), decreasing. Ethnic population: 4,880.
Oromia region: Lake Zway shores and east islands.
Use of Zay is decreasing due to migration from the islands (the traditional homeland) to the lakeshore, where they become Oromo [orm] speakers. Oromo is also taught in island schools. Speaker number decrease also attributed to dominant role of Amharic [amh] (Dimmendaal and Voeltz 2007). Also use Amharic [amh], Oromo [orm].