Form of Government: Republic
Area: 65 610 sq km
Population: 21 919 000 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 334.08 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 10° - 6° N; long. 80° - 82° E
Capital: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (capital) 103 248 inhab. (2018);
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.782 (rank: 72)
President: Gotabaya Rajapaksa (SLPFA), elected 15 November 2019
Prime Minister: Mahinda Rajapaksa (SLPFA), since 21 November 2019
House of Representatives: seats based on the elections of 5 August 2020: SLPFA (Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance, social-democratic coalition), 145; SJB (“Peace — People’s Party”, conservative coalition), 54; TNA (Tamil National Alliance), 10; others, 16
Internet: www.statistics.gov.lk (Department of Census and Statistics)
Member of Commonwealth, OAS observer, SAARC, UN, WTO

Sri Lanka

Useful information

International license plate code CL
International dialling code 0094
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side left
Internet code .lk

GMT  +6
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Colombo 26.8
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Colombo 26/27
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Colombo 6/7
Annual average precipitation (mm) Colombo 2405
Days of rainfall (annual average) Colombo 188

Politics and current affairs

An amendment to the constitution in force since 29 October 2020 broadened the president’s powers over the executive branch, enabling the office to appoint the highest judicial roles and reducing parliamentary control.

Geography.
Sri Lanka is an island of southern Asia in the Indian Ocean to the southeast of the extreme southern point of the Deccan peninsula of India.
In the north there is a strip of plains partly covered by savannahs; in the southern area there is a plateau covered by forests which reaches a peak at Mount Pidurutalagala (2524 m). Various streams come down from the mountainous areas in the middle of the island, the largest of which is the River Mahaweli. The climate is warm and humid, with some variations in temperature.

Government


A former British colony, Ceylon has been independent within the Commonwealth since 4 February 1968, becoming a republic on 22 May 1972 and changing its name to Sri Lanka.
Since 1975 the conflict between the Singhalese majority (Buddhist) and the Tamil minority (Hindu) has become more pronounced. This has led to the guerrilla movement of the LTTE, the Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting for the liberation of Eelam (the Tamil name for Sri Lanka), the northern areas of the island. A truce was signed in 2002, but the peace talks which followed, led by the Norwegian government, did not reach a successful conclusion.
In 2008, the government broke the cease-fire and launched an offensive against the areas controlled by the rebels. It succeeded in defeating them in May 2009. There is often violence by Buddhist majority against religious minorities.
The President of the Republic, who is also head of executive power, is elected by direct suffrage for a five-year term, as is the House of Representatives (225 members).


Defence.
Military service is voluntary.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force11.5%2015
Army82.3%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes188.8per 100 000 pop.2015
Homicides2.5per 100 000 pop.2016
TOP

Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Colombo599 821inhab.2018
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia184 468inhab.2012
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Greater Colombo4 370 000inhab.2018
TOP

Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate15.5442019
Death rate6.752019
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Sinhalese74.9%2012
Tamil11.2%2012


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Buddhist70.1%2012
Hindu12.6%2012


Languages
DESCRIPTION
English
Sinhala (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years23.1%2020
15-29 years21.7%2020


TOP

Economy


Economic situation.
The easing of COVID-19 restrictions sparked economic recovery in the second half of 2020. Stimulus measures (reduced VAT, public sector hiring, access to credit) nevertheless had an impact on the public debt. The central bank played a key role in responding to the crisis: interest rates were kept low to increase the liquidity available for credit.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)128.1index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)105.9index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population8 544 846units2020
Active population, Females34.7%2019
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate4.8%2020
Unemployment rate, Females55.3%2019
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses2 535 265M LCU2019
Revenues1 898 808M LCU2019
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture24.5%2019
industry29.7%2019
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture7.972%2019
industry29.444%2019
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation657.126BN LCU2019
International reserves5 663.994M US$2020
TOP

Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture.
The basic food crop is rice, grown mainly in the North Western, North Central and Eastern provinces. The main export products are tea, cinnamon (grown in the coastal area between Negombo and Galle), rubber and products derived from coconut palm (coconuts, oil and copra) and from tobacco. Covering about a third of the country, the forests also provide valuable woods (ebony, sandalwood and mahogany).

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land38.336%2018
forests34.258%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cereals, total4 837.9071000 t2019
maize245.6471000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava281.0751000 t2019
potatoes101.6421000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages116.5771000 t2019
carrots and turnips80.7671000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry6.2821000 t2019
beans, green65.451000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts26.9221000 t2019
sesame seed6.0851000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts2 468.81000 t2019
copra65$1000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cinnamon24.8211000 t2019
cloves4.3771000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane653.0531000 t2019
tobacco9.481000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton0$1000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fruits, total803.6981000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts35.0511000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits17.2461000 t2019
lemons8.3641000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados22.4461000 t2019
bananas62.5491000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
maize63.4491000 ha2019
millet0.071000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava20.5921000 ha2019
potatoes5.4321000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages4.1531000 ha2019
carrots and turnips3.5531000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry5.3521000 ha2019
beans, green6.4611000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts14.5281000 ha2019
sesame seed6.0351000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts503.4521000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cinnamon33.9241000 ha2019
cloves5.9371000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane12.961000 ha2019
tobacco1.1551000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton0$1000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts16.7581000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits16.981000 ha2019
lemons10.2381000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados3.4531000 ha2019
bananas49.3071000 ha2017
TOP

Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural rubber74 750t2019
timber5 218 2492019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle1 086.011000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes1 384.441000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes298.431000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs91.21000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep11.5541000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats313.641000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
equines, total1.3661000 heads2019
horses1.3661000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds20 4231000 heads2019
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.051000 t2018
condensed milk1 180t2019
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs49 272.87t2019
freshwater fishes117 536.4t2019
TOP

Minerals


Secondary and tertiary sector
Minerals.
There are not many important mineral resources present in Sri Lanka, apart from precious stones (rubies, sapphires, topaz and beryllium, which mostly come from Ratnapura). The only industrial product worthy of mention is graphite (deposits at Bogala, Kahatagaha and Kalangaha); phosphates and sea salt are also important (at Elephant Pass, Puttalam, Palavi and Hambantota).
Industry.
The main sector is textiles and clothing, which has its main centres at Colombo and Pugoda.
Near Colombo (Homagama) there is an aluminium plant, while in Aturugiriva there’s a metal-working plant. There is an oil refinery at Sapugaskanda. There is also some chemical processing (at Parantan and Ratmalana), oil production (at Colombo and Galle), tanneries (at Colombo and Ratmalana), paper, ceramics, cement (at Galle, Puttalam and Trincomalee), natural rubber (at Kelaniya), sugar refining (at Amparai and Kantalai), beer (at Nuwara Eliya) and tobacco (in Colombo).

Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ilmenite43.81000 t2019
rutile2$1000 t2019
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
feldspar96$1000 t2018
graphite3.51000 t2020
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
kaolin2$1000 t2018
limestone1 6001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
precious stones5 6811000 ct2018
sapphire - ct2 935.61000 ct2018
TOP

Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal7 978.72M kWh2018
- hydro6 336.99M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal2 0641000 kW2018
- hydro1 7201000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation14 844.71M kWh2018
total installed capacity4 148.311000 kW2018
TOP

Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
lead3.71000 t2018
steel, crude30$1000 t2019
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen5$1000 t2013
petrol4451000 t2019
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
phosphate fertilizers14.51000 t2019
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley146.451000 t2018
coconut oil55.21000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes4 719M units2007
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp2.61000 t2019
other paper24.51000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement3 3971000 t2019
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production606.373M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production4 266.24M US$2018
TOP

Trade


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) apparel and accessories 4 740, tea 1 513, tyres and rubber articles 877, spices 364, petroleum products 295, electrical and electronic equipment 287, ships and boats 280, fish 256, diamonds and precious stones 243, fruit and vegetables 217, machinery 206, vegetable textile fibres 150, chemicals 102, fruit & vegetable juices and preserves 121, footwear 108, tobacco 104, food preparations 101

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures67.896% of goods exports2017
food products26.087% of goods exports2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States2 658M US$2020
United Kingdom956M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China3 581M US$2020
India3 006M US$2020
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202010 137M US$ -
201911 940M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202015 993M US$ -
201919 937M US$ -
TOP

Tourism


Tourism. It is an important source of income for Sri Lanka.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures2 436M US$2019
Number of arrivals1 914 000units2019
TOP

Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown43 100 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried5 582.41000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers78.144per 1000 pop.2019
Computers37.3per 1000 pop.2005
TOP

Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling14.111years2018
Gradautes, percentage3.5%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level1 725 424units2018
Students, secondary level2 727 965units2018
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds3.6per 1000 pop.2019
Physicians0.9per 1000 pop.2019
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2019
HIV, total0.02%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.128% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking31.2%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear2.9%2016
education3.8%2016
TOP