Demographics of Sri Lanka

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Demographics of Sri Lanka
Sri-Lanka-demography.png
Population of Sri Lanka, 1961-2003 (FAO, 2005)
Population 20,263,723 (2012 census)
Density 323/km2 (2012 census)
Growth rate 0.913% (2012 est.)
Birth rate 17.04 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate 5.96 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Life expectancy 75.94 years (2012 est.)
 • male 72.43 years (2012 est.)
 • female 79.59 years (2012 est.)
Fertility rate 2.17 children born/woman (2012 est.)
Infant mortality rate 9.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Age structure
0–14 years 24.9% (2012 est.)
15–64 years 67% (2012 est.)
65 and over 8.1% (2012 est.)
Sex ratio
Total 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
At birth 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Under 15 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
15–64 years 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
65 and over 0.75 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Nationality
Nationality noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjective: Sri Lankan
Major ethnic Sinhalese (74.9%) (2012 census)
Minor ethnic Sri Lanka Tamil (11.2%) (2012 census)
Moor (9.2%) (2012 census)
Indian Tamil (4.2%) (2012 census)
Language
Official Sinhala, Tamil
Spoken English

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Sri Lanka, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean also called Ceylon and many other names. It is about the size of Ireland. It is about 28 kilometres (18 mi.) off the south-eastern coast of India with a population of about 20 million. Density is highest in the south west where Colombo, the country's main port and industrial center, is located. The net population growth is about 0.7%. Sri Lanka is ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse.

Ethnicity[edit]

The Sinhalese, make up 74.9% of the population (according to 2012 census) and are concentrated in the densely populated south-west and central parts of the Island. The Sri Lanka Tamils, live predominantly in the north-east of the island forming the largest minority group at 11.2% (according to the 2012 census) of the population.

The Moors, who descend from Arab traders that settled in Sri Lanka, form the third largest ethnic group at 9.2% of the population. They are mostly concentrated in urban areas in the southern parts of the island with substantial populations in the Central and Eastern provinces. During times of Portuguese colonization, Moors were persecuted, and many forced to retreat to the central highlands and the eastern coast.

There are also Indian Tamils who form distinct ethnic group which comprises 4.2% of the population. The British brought them to Sri Lanka in the 19th century as tea and rubber plantation workers, and they remain concentrated in the "tea country" of south-central Sri Lanka. In accordance with a 1964 agreement with India, Sri Lanka granted citizenship to 230,000 "stateless" Indian Tamils in 1988. Under the pact, India granted citizenship to the remainder, some 200,000 of whom now live in India. Another 75,000 Indian Tamils, who themselves or whose parents once applied for Indian citizenship, now wish to remain in Sri Lanka. The government has stated these Tamils will not be forced to return to India, although they are not technically citizens of Sri Lanka.

Smaller minorities include the Malays who descent from South East Asian settlers, and the Burghers, who are descendants of European colonists, principally from Portugal, the Netherlands and the UK.

Population of Sri Lanka by ethnic group 1789 to 2012[1][2][3][4]
Year Sinhalese Sri Lankan Tamils[5] Sri Lankan Moors[6] Indian Tamils[5] Sri Lankan Malays Burghers/Eurasian Indian Moors[6] Others Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %
1789 Estimate 1,200,000
1827 Census[7] 889,584
1871 Census 2,400,380
1881 Census 1,846,600 66.91% 687,200 24.90% 184,500 6.69% 8,900 0.32% 17,900 0.65% 14,500 0.53% 2,759,700
1891 Census 2,041,200 67.86% 723,900 24.07% 197,200 6.56% 10,100 0.34% 21,200 0.70% 14,200 0.47% 3,007,800
1901 Census 2,330,800 65.36% 951,700 26.69% 228,000 6.39% 11,900 0.33% 23,500 0.66% 20,000 0.56% 3,566,000
1911 Census 2,715,500 66.13% 528,000 12.86% 233,900 5.70% 531,000 12.93% 13,000 0.32% 26,700 0.65% 32,700 0.80% 25,600 0.62% 4,106,400
1921 Census 3,016,200 67.05% 517,300 11.50% 251,900 5.60% 602,700 13.40% 13,400 0.30% 29,400 0.65% 33,000 0.73% 34,600 0.77% 4,498,600
1931 Estimate 3,473,000 65.45% 598,900 11.29% 289,600 5.46% 818,500 15.43% 16,000 0.30% 32,300 0.61% 36,300 0.68% 41,800 0.79% 5,306,000
1946 Census[8] 4,620,500 69.41% 733,700 11.02% 373,600 5.61% 780,600 11.73% 22,500 0.34% 41,900 0.63% 35,600 0.53% 48,900 0.73% 6,657,300
1953 Census[9] 5,616,700 69.36% 884,700 10.93% 464,000 5.73% 974,100 12.03% 25,400 0.31% 46,000 0.57% 47,500 0.59% 39,500 0.49% 8,097,900
1963 Census 7,512,900 71.00% 1,164,700 11.01% 626,800 5.92% 1,123,000 10.61% 33,400 0.32% 45,900 0.43% 55,400 0.52% 19,900 0.19% 10,582,000
1971 Census 9,131,300 71.96% 1,424,000 11.22% 828,300 6.53% 1,174,900 9.26% 43,500 0.34% 45,400 0.36% 27,400 0.22% 15,500 0.12% 12,689,900
1981 Census 10,979,400 73.95% 1,886,900 12.71% 1,046,900 7.05% 818,700 5.51% 47,000 0.32% 39,400 0.27% 28,400 0.19% 14,846,800
1989 Estimate 12,437,000 73.92% 2,124,000 12.62% 1,249,000 7.42% 873,000 5.19% 48,000 0.29% 42,000 0.25% 52,000 0.34% 16,825,000
2001 Census[10]
2011 Census[11] 15,173,820 74.88% 2,270,924 11.21% 1,869,820 9.23% 842,323 4.16% 40,189 0.20% 37,061 0.18% 29,586 0.14% 20,263,723
Population Distribution by Province and District in Sri lanka, 2012

Religion[edit]

Majority religion by DS Division according 2012 census
Main article: Religion in Sri Lanka

Most Sinhalese are Buddhist; most Tamils are Hindu; and the Moors and Malays are mostly Muslim. Sizeable minorities of both Sinhalese and Tamils are Christians, most of whom are Roman Catholic. The Burgher population is mostly Roman Catholic or Presbyterian. The Veddahs have Animist and Buddhist practices. The 1978 constitution, while assuring freedom of religion, grants primacy to Buddhism.

Population of Sri Lanka by religion 1881 to 2012[12][13]
Year Buddhist Hindu Muslim Christian Others Total
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No.
1881 Census 1,698,100 61.53% 593,600 21.51% 197,800 7.17% 268,000 9.71% 2,300 0.08% 2,759,800
1891 Census 1,877,000 62.40% 615,900 20.48% 212,000 7.05% 302,100 10.04% 800 0.03% 3,007,800
1901 Census 2,141,400 60.06% 826,800 23.19% 246,100 6.90% 349,200 9.79% 2,500 0.07% 3,566,000
1911 Census 2,474,200 60.25% 938,300 22.85% 283,600 6.91% 409,200 9.96% 1,100 0.03% 4,106,400
1921 Census 2,769,800 61.57% 982,100 21.83% 302,500 6.72% 443,400 9.86% 800 0.02% 4,498,600
1931 Estimate 3,266,600 61.55% 1,166,900 21.99% 354,200 6.67% 518,100 9.76% 1,100 0.02% 5,306,900
1946 Census 4,294,900 64.51% 1,320,400 19.83% 436,600 6.56% 603,200 9.06% 2,200 0.03% 6,657,300
1953 Census 5,209,400 64.33% 1,610,500 19.89% 541,500 6.69% 724,400 8.95% 12,100 0.15% 8,097,900
1963 Census 7,003,300 66.18% 1,958,400 18.51% 724,000 6.84% 884,900 8.36% 11,400 0.11% 10,582,000
1971 Census 8,536,800 67.27% 2,238,600 17.64% 901,700 7.11% 1,004,300 7.91% 8,400 0.07% 12,689,800
1981 Census 10,288,300 69.30% 2,297,800 15.48% 1,121,700 7.56% 1,130,600 7.62% 8,300 0.06% 14,846,700
2001 Census[10]
2012 Census[14] 14,222,844 70.19% 2,554,606 12.61% 1,967,227 9.71% 1,509,606 7.45% 9,440 0.05% 20,263,723

Languages[edit]

Tamil script (left) and Sinhala script (right) on a political poster

Sinhala, an Indo-European language, is the native tongue of the Sinhalese. Tamils speak Tamil, a Dravidian language. The Moors/ Srilankan Muslims also speak Tamil language.while the Malays speak Sri Lanka Malay. Many of the Burghers speak Sri Lankan Indo-Portuguese although its use has declined and all speak Sinhala. The Veddahs speak a language closely related to Sinhala. Use of English has declined since independence, but it continues to be spoken by many in the middle and upper middle classes, particularly in Colombo. The government is seeking to reverse the decline in the use of English, mainly for economic but also for political reasons. Both Sinhala and Tamil are official languages.

Vital statistics[edit]

UN estimates:[15]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR1 CDR1 NC1 TFR1 IMR1
1950–1955 322 000 171 000 151 000 37.4 19.8 17.5 5.80 103.9
1955–1960 367 000 143 000 223 000 38.6 15.1 23.5 5.80 86.7
1960–1965 377 000 128 000 248 000 35.5 12.1 23.4 5.20 77.5
1965–1970 391 000 116 000 276 000 32.9 9.7 23.2 4.70 69.3
1970–1975 383 000 103 000 280 000 29.1 7.8 21.3 4.00 55.4
1975–1980 401 000 99 000 302 000 27.8 6.9 20.9 3.61 38.8
1980–1985 401 000 96 000 305 000 25.6 6.1 19.5 3.19 30.3
1985–1990 362 000 110 000 253 000 21.6 6.5 15.1 2.64 24.1
1990–1995 349 000 119 000 230 000 19.6 6.7 12.9 2.39 22.1
1995–2000 329 000 146 000 183 000 17.8 7.9 9.9 2.16 18.9
2000–2005 360 000 121 000 239 000 18.7 6.3 12.4 2.27 15.9
2005–2010 386 000 132 000 253 000 19.0 6.5 12.5 2.36 12.4
1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births

Fertility and Births[edit]

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):[16]

Year CBR (Total) TFR (Total) CBR (Urban) TFR (Urban) CBR (Rural) TFR (Rural) CBR (Estate) TFR (Estate)
1981-1983 3,1 2,4 3,2 3,4
1984-1987 2,7 2,1 2,8 3,3
2006-2007 18,7 2,3 18,5 2,2 18,6 2,3 20,0 2,5

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Majority ethnicity by DS Division according 2012 census

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated:[17]

  • Population - 21,481,334 (July 2012 est.)[18]
  • Age structure - 0–14 years: 23.9% (male 2,594,815/female 2,493,002); 15–64 years: 68% (male 7,089,307/female 7,418,123); 65 years and over:8.1% (male 803,172/female 926,372) (2010 est.)
  • Median age - total: 31.1 years; male: 30.1 years; female: 32.2 years (2012 est.)
  • Population growth rate - 0.913% (2012 est.)
  • Birth rate - 17.04 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
  • Death rate - 5.96 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
  • Net migration rate - -1.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
  • Urbanization - urban population: 14% of total population (2010); rate of urbanization: 1.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
  • Sex ratio - at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15–64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female; total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
  • Infant mortality rate - total: 9.47 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 10.44 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 8.45 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Life expectancy at birth - total population: 75.94 years; male: 72.43 years; female: 79.59 years (2012 est.)
  • Total fertility rate - 2.17 children born/woman (2012 est.)
  • Health expenditures - 4% of GDP (2009)
  • Physicians density - 0.492 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
  • Hospital bed density - 3.1 beds/1,000 population (2004)
  • HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate - less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
  • HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS - 2,800 (2009 est.)
  • HIV/AIDS - deaths - fewer than 200 (2009 est.)
  • Major infectious diseases - degree of risk: high; food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A; vectorborne disease: dengue fever and chikungunya; water contact disease:leptospirosis; animal contact disease: rabies(2009)
  • Nationality - noun: Sri Lankan(s);
    adjective: Sri Lankan
  • Ethnic group - Sinhalese 73.8%; Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%; Indian Tamil 4.6%; Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%; other 0.5%; unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)[19]
  • Religion - Buddhism 70.19%; Hinduism 12.61%; Islam 9.71%; Christianity 7.45%; Other 0.05% (2012 [14] provisional data)
  • Languages - Sinhala 74%; Tamil 25%; other 10%[20]
  • Literacy - definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 91.2%; male: 92.6%; female:90% (2010 census)

References & footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Population by ethnic group, census years". Statistics Statistical Abstract 2010. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  2. ^ "Estimated mid year population by ethnic group, 1980 - 1989". Statistics Statistical Abstract 2010. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  3. ^ "A2 : Population by ethnic group according to districts, 2012". Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  4. ^ The Population of Sri Lanka. Population Growth: C.I.C.R.E.D. Series. 1974. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Indian Tamils were only classified as a separate ethnic group from 1911 onwards. Prior to this they were included with Sri Lankan Tamils.
  6. ^ a b Indian Moors were only classified as a separate ethnic group from 1911 to 1971. Prior to 1911 they were included with Sri Lankan Moors. After 1971 they were included with Others.
  7. ^ Non scientific census of the whole island
  8. ^ The 1941 Census was postponed due to World War II.
  9. ^ The 1951 Census was postponed due to a shortage of paper at the time.
  10. ^ a b 2001 Census was only carried out in 18 of the 25 districts. Inclusion of data would be misleading.
  11. ^ The official census dates for the 2011 Census was 20 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Population by religion, census years". Statistics Statistical Abstract 2010. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  13. ^ "A3 : Population by religion according to districts, 2012". Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  14. ^ a b ": Population by religion according to districts". Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  15. ^ World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
  16. ^ http://microdata.worldbank.org/index.php/catalog/dhs#_r=&collection=&country=&dtype=&from=1890&page=14&ps=&sk=&sort_by=nation&sort_order=&to=2014&topic=&view=s&vk=
  17. ^ "Sri Lanka". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 
  18. ^ Since the outbreak of hostilities between the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid-1980s, several hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2010 est.) Aside from such migrants, there is an estimated 1.7 million Sri Lankans who are employed abroad (2010 est.), through which Sri Lanka earned USD 4.1 billion in annual worker remittances in 2010. Such remittances are a key source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka.
  19. ^ These figures are based on the 2001 census which was only carried out partially in the Northern and Eastern provinces, where the majority of Sri Lankan Tamils and Hindus live. Therefore the Sri Lankan Tamil and Hindu percentage is grossly understated. The Sri Lankan government estimates that the Tamils (Sri Lankan and Indian) account for 18% of the population.
  20. ^ English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population as second language.

External links[edit]