The Northern Prinmi language community straddles the border of the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China. Due to the presence of a provincial border, the community is divided into two ethnicities: an independent Pumi ethnicity in Yunnan (shared with speakers of the -mutually unintelligible- Southern Prinmi language); and Tibetan ethnicity for speakers in Sichuan.

It is difficult to give a precise number of Northern Prinmi speakers: Ethnologue gives a figure of 5,000 Prinmi-speaking Pumi in Yunnan and 30,000 Prinmi-speaking Tibetans in Sichuan. Looking at the number of villages in northern Yunnan where Prinmi is spoken, the researcher estimates there to be several thousand speakers in Yunnan. The situation in Sichuan a bit harder to establish, since all Prinmi speakers are counted as Tibetans in the national census. Based on a 2013 figure of 45,056 Tibetans in Muli County, of which an estimated 85% Prinmi (not all of whom still speak the language), and a few thousand speakers in Jiulong and Yanyuan counties, the researcher estimates that there are about 40,000 Tibetan Prinmi speakers. The language is not used in media and education, except for the efforts of some Pumi scholars who implemented a Prinmi-based language teaching course using Tibetan script in one school in Yunnan. Online use of the language on Weixing (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook) by various Prinmi speakers is on the rise.

Even though Prinmi is the language of an official minority, the Pumi minority in Yunnan Province, and is entitled to language development, there is no officially established orthography yet. Attempts have been made by various Prinmi speakers and outside scholars to create an orthography.However, at this point in time, no single one has been accepted for general use by the community.