Statistical information Sri Lanka 1996Sri%20Lanka

Map of Sri Lanka | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Sri Lanka in the World
Sri Lanka in the World


Sri Lanka - Introduction 1996
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Background: Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and the Dutch in the 17th century the island was ceded to the British in 1802. As Ceylon it became independent in 1948; its name was changed in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted in violence in the mid-1980s. Tens of thousands have died in an ethnic war that continues to fester.

Sri Lanka - Geography 1996
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Location: Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 65,610 km²
Land: 64,740 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,340 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March; southwest monsoon (June to October)

Terrain: Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m


Natural resources:
Mineral sands

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 16%
Permanent crops: 17%
Permanent pastures: 7%
Forests and woodland: 37%
Other: 23%

Irrigated land: 5,600 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Sri Lanka - People 1996
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18,553,074 (July 1996 est.)
18,342,660 (July 1995 est.)

Note: 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; as of late 1992, nearly 115,000 were housed in refugee camps in south India, another 95,000 lived outside the Indian camps, and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought political asylum in the West
Growth rate:
1.13% (1996 est.)
1.15% (1995 est.)

Noun: Sri Lankan(s)
Adjective: Sri Lankan

Ethnic groups:
Sinhalese 74%
Tamil 18%
Moor 7%
Burgher, Malay, and Vedda 1%

Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%
Note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken by about 10% of the population

Buddhist 69%
Hindu 15%
Christian 8%
Muslim 8%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
28% (male 2,673,943; female 2,559,569) (July 1996 est.)
29% (male 2,713,696; female 2,597,969) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
66% (male 6,023,759; female 6,171,964) (July 1996 est.)
65% (male 5,902,343female 6,042,228) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
6% (male 553,940; female 569,899) (July 1996 est.)
6% (male 538,709; female 547,715) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.13% (1996 est.)
1.15% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
17.89 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
18.13 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.8 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
5.78 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.78 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
-0.84 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff
Current issues Natural hazards: occasional cyclones and tornadoes
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified_Marine Life Conservation
International agreements note: Strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
All ages:
1 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:20.8 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
21.3 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72.35 years (1996 est.); 72.14 years (1995 est.)
Male: 69.77 years (1996 est.); 69.58 years (1995 est.)
Female: 75.06 years (1996 est.); 74.82 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.05 children born/woman (1996 est.)
2.08 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 90.2%
Male: 93.4%
Female: 87.2%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Sri Lanka - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Conventional short form: Sri Lanka
Former: Ceylon

Government type: Republic

Capital: Colombo

Administrative divisions: 8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western

Dependent areas

Independence: 4 February 1948 (from U.K.)

National holiday: Independence and National Day, 4 February (1948)

Constitution: Adopted 16 August 1978

Legal system: A highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note_Sirimavo BANDARANAIKE is the Prime Minister; in Sri Lanka the president is considered to be both the chief of state and the head of the government, this is in contrast to the more common practice of dividing the roles between the president and the prime minister when both offices exist; election last held 9 November 1994 (next to be held NA November 2000); results_Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (People's Alliance) 62%, Srima DISSANAYAKE (United National Party) 37%, other 1%
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister

Legislative branch: Unicameral Parliament:Elections last held 16 August 1994 (next to be held by August 2000; results_PA 49.0%, UNP 44.0%, SLMC 1.8%, TULF 1.7%, SLPF 1.1%, EPDP 0.3%, UPF 0.3%, PLOTE 0.1%, other 1.7%; seats_(225 total) PA 105, UNP 94, EPDP 9, SLMC 7, TULF 5, PLOTE 3, SLPF 1, UPF 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, PCA, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Sri%20Lanka: Yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border that goes around the entire flag and extends between the two panels

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Sri Lanka - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Industry_dominated by the fast-growing apparel industry_has surpassed agriculture as the main source of export earnings. The economy has been plagued by high rates of unemployment since the late 1970s. Economic growth accelerated in 1991-94 as domestic conditions began to improve and conditions for foreign investment brightened. In 1995, however, the government's emphasis on populist measures and its preoccupation with the stepped-up Tamil insurgency have clouded Sri Lanka's economic prospects and discouraged foreign investors. A further problem for 1996 is the need to curb government overspending.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
5% (1995 est.)
5% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 24% of GDP; field crops_rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseeds, roots, spices; cash crops_tea, rubber, coconuts; animal products_milk, eggs, hides, meat; not self-sufficient in rice production

Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities
Clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 9% (1994 est.), accounts for 24% of GDP

Labor force: 6.1 million
By occupation Agriculture: 45%
By occupation Services: 37%
By occupation Industry: 18% (1993 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
13% (1994 est.)
13.6% (1993 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $2.7 billion (1995); $2.3 billion (1993)
Expenditures: $3.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $851 million (1995); $3.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.5 billion (1993)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $3.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
$2.9 billion (f.o.b., 1993)

Garments and textiles
Other gems
Petroleum products
Rubber products
Other agricultural products
Marine products

U.S. 34.7%
France (1994)

Total value:
$4.8 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
$4 billion (c.i.f., 1993)

Textiles and textile materials
Machinery and equipment
Transport equipment
Building materials

Hong Kong
South Korea
China (1994)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external:
$8.8 billion (1994 est.)
$7.2 billion (1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Sri Lankan rupees (SLRes) per US$1_54.158 (January 1996), 51.252 (1995), 49.415 (1994), 48.322 (1993), 43.830 (1992), 41.372 (1991), 40.063 (1990)

Sri Lanka - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3.2 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 168 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Sri Lanka - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 175,000 telephones (1982); very inadequate domestic service, good international service
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: submarine cables extend to Indonesia and Djibouti; 2 INTELSAT (Indian Ocean) earth stations

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Sri Lanka - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $640 million, 4.4% of GDP (1996; $412 million, 3.6% of GDP (1994)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Sri Lanka - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 13
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 6
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 6
914 to 1523 m: 6 (1995 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Crude oil and petroleum products 62 km (1987)



Waterways: 430 km; navigable by shallow-draft craft

Merchant marine
Total: 26 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 220,508 GRT/329,410 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 13, container 1, oil tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 8 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Sri Lanka - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Economy Bookings

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