All speakers are older adults who are trilingual in Liabuku, Wolio and Indonesian, with children and young adults having at best only a passive knowledge of their heritage language.
What Others Have Written
René van den Berg (2001:pers.comm.)
In March 2001 I was able to spend a few hours in the village of Liabuku (ten to twelve kilometers north of Baubau) to gather some further linguistic and sociolinguistic data… The people I spoke to estimated that there are about fifty households which can be considered Liabuku asli; of these some ten have mixed marriages (Todanga, Bugis, Tolandona). They are all farmers. Together we arrived at an estimated number of 100 to 150 speakers of this language/dialect. Even this number might be too high. Indonesian and Wolio are the predominant languages in the village. Households with mixed marriages use Indonesian (although the Liabuku and Todanga dialects are reportedly mutually intelligible). Because of the mixed population in the village as a whole most of the day-to-day interaction takes place in Indonesian. Children and young adults were said not to be fluent in Liabuku, but only to have a passive knowledge of it. Wolio is widely known and used as the prestigious regional language.
René van den Berg (2004:pers.comm.)
The village where Liabuku is spoken is very multilingual, and the use of Liabuku is in decline. There are only 75 to 100 adult speakers, who are all trilingual in Liabuku, Wolio and Indonesian. Children and young adults only have a passive knowledge of Liabuku.