Sri Lanka Population: 21,675,648


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The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was formally united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. By May 2009, the government announced that its military had defeated the remnants of the LTTE. Since the end of the conflict, the government has enacted an ambitious program of economic development projects, many of which are financed by loans from the Government of China. In addition to efforts to reconstruct its economy, the government has resettled more than 95% of those civilians who were displaced during the final phase of the conflict and released the vast majority of former LTTE combatants captured by Government Security Forces. At the same time, there has been little progress on more contentious and politically difficult issues such as reaching a political settlement with Tamil elected representatives and holding accountable those alleged to have been involved in human rights violations at the end of the war.

Strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes
Location: Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Geographic coordinates: 7 00 N, 81 00 E
Area: total: 65,610 sq km
land: 64,630 sq km
water: 980 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than West Virginia
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,340 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
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
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Natural resources: limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 18.29%
permanent crops: 14.94%
other: 66.77% (2011)
Irrigated land: 5,700 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
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Nationality: noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjective: Sri Lankan
Ethnic groups: 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)
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8% note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution
Religions: Buddhist (official) 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Population: 21,675,648 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.8% (male 2,741,879/female 2,632,613)
15-24 years: 15.1% (male 1,659,566/female 1,615,616)
25-54 years: 42.4% (male 4,484,738/female 4,697,355)
55-64 years: 9.3% (male 939,174/female 1,084,108)
65 years and over: 8.4% (male 778,629/female 1,041,970) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 50.7 %
youth dependency ratio: 37.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 12.8 %
potential support ratio: 7.8 (2013)
Median age: total: 31.4 years
male: 30.3 years
female: 32.5 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.89% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 16.64 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 6.01 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 15.1% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.36% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: COLOMBO (capital) 681,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 22.6 note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2000 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 35 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.24 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.15 years
male: 72.64 years
female: 79.79 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.15 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 68% (2006/07)
Health expenditures: 3% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.49 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
Hospital bed density: 3.1 beds/1,000 population (2004)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 90% of population
total: 91% of population

urban: 1% of population
rural: 10% of population
total: 9% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 88% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 92% of population

urban: 12% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 8% of population (2010 est.)
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.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 5.1% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 21.6% (2009)
Education expenditures: 2% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.2%
male: 92.6%
female: 90% (2010 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2011)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 19.4%
male: 16.3%
female: 24.7% (2010)
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Country name: conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
conventional short form: Sri Lanka
local long form: Shri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajavadi Janarajaya/Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu
local short form: Shri Lanka/Ilankai
former: Serendib, Ceylon
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Colombo
geographic coordinates: 6 55 N, 79 50 E
time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative capital)
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Central, Eastern, North Central, Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western
Independence: 4 February 1948 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 4 February (1948)
Constitution: adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978; amended many times, most recently in 2010
Legal system: mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and Jaffna Tamil customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; Dissanayake Mudiyanselage JAYARATNE holds the largely ceremonial title of prime minister (since 21 April 2010)

head of government: President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term, eligible for a second term; election last held on 26 January 2010 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA reelected president for second term; percent of vote - Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA 57.88%, Sarath FONSEKA 40.15%, other 1.97%
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of an open-list, proportional representation system by electoral district to serve six-year terms)

elections: last held on 8 April 2010 with a repoll in two electorates held on 20 April 2010 (next to be held by April 2016)

election results: percent of vote by alliance or party - United People's Freedom Alliance 60.93%, United National Party 29.34%, Democratic National Alliance 5.49%, Tamil National Alliance 2.9%, other 1.34%; seats by alliance or party - United People's Freedom Alliance 144, United National Party 60, Tamil National Alliance 14, Democratic National Alliance 7
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of the chief justice and 10 justices); note - the court has exclusive jurisdiction to review legislation judge selection and term of office: the chief justice appointed by the president; the other justices appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice; all justices hold office until age 65

subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate's Courts; municipal and primary courts
Political parties and leaders: Coalitions and leaders: Democratic National Alliance, led by General (Retired) Sarath FONSEKA Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP [Somawansa AMARASINGHE] Tamil National Alliance led by Illandai Tamil Arasu Kachchi [R. SAMPANTHAN] United National Front led by United National Party [Ranil WICKREMESINGHE] United People's Freedom Alliance led by Sri Lanka Freedom Party [Mahinda RAJAPAKSA]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Buddhist clergy labor unions hard-line nationalist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
International organization participation: ABEDA, ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CD, CP, FAO, G-11, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): lion
National anthem: name: "Sri Lanka Matha" (Mother Sri Lanka)
lyrics/music: Ananda SAMARKONE

note: adopted 1951
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jaliya Chitran WICKRAMASURIYA
chancery: 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4025 through 4028
FAX: [1] (202) 232-7181
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michele J. SISON
embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3
mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo
telephone: [94] (11) 249-8500
FAX: [94] (11) 243-7345
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Sri Lanka continues to experience strong economic growth following the end of the 26-year conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The government has been pursuing large-scale reconstruction and development projects in its efforts to spur growth in war-torn and disadvantaged areas, develop small and medium enterprises and increase agricultural productivity. The government's high debt payments and bloated civil service have contributed to historically high budget deficits, but fiscal consolidation efforts and strong GDP growth in recent years have helped bring down the government's fiscal deficit. However, low tax revenues are a major concern. The 2008-09 global financial crisis and recession exposed Sri Lanka''s economic vulnerabilities and nearly caused a balance of payments crisis. Growth slowed to 3.5% in 2009. Economic activity rebounded with the end of the war and an IMF agreement, resulting in two straight years of 8% growth in 2010-11. Growth moderated to about 6% in 2012. Agriculture slowed due to a drought and weak global demand affected exports and trade. In early 2012, Sri Lanka floated the rupee, resulting in a sharp depreciation, and took steps to curb imports. A large trade deficit remains a concern. Strong remittances from Sri Lankan workers abroad have helped to offset the trade deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $128.4 billion (2012 est.) $120.6 billion (2011 est.) $111.4 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $59.41 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.4% (2012 est.) 8.2% (2011 est.) 8% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,200 (2012 est.) $5,900 (2011 est.) $5,500 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 23.8% of GDP (2012 est.) 22.1% of GDP (2011 est.) 25.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 69.6%
government consumption: 13.5%
investment in fixed capital: 28.9%
investment in inventories: 1.8%
exports of goods and services: 22.8%
imports of goods and services: -36.5% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 69.6%
government consumption: 13.5%
investment in fixed capital: 28.9%
investment in inventories: 1.8%
exports of goods and services: 22.8%
imports of goods and services: -36.5% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, vegetables, fruit, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef; fish
Industries: processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; tourism, shipping; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining, information technology services, construction
Industrial production growth rate: 10.3% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 8.194 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 31.8%
industry: 25.8%
services: 42.4% (June 2012)
Unemployment rate: 5.2% (2012 est.) 4.2% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 8.9% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 39.5% (2009)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 49 (2010) 46 (1995)
Budget: revenues: $7.868 billion
expenditures: $11.63 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 13.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 77.7% of GDP (2012 est.) 78.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

note: covers central government debt, and excludes debt instruments directly owned by government entities other than the treasury (e.g. commercial bank borrowings of a government corporation); the data includes treasury debt held by foreign entities as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement; sub-national entities are usually not permitted to sell debt instruments
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.5% (2012 est.) 6.7% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$4.737 billion (2012 est.) -$4.638 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $9.785 billion (2012 est.) $10.56 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: textiles and apparel, tea and spices; rubber manufactures; precious stones; coconut products, fish
Exports - partners: US 22.6%, UK 9.8%, India 6.4%, Belgium 5.2%, Germany 4.8%, Italy 4.3% (2012)
Imports: $17.32 billion (2012 est.) $18.24 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum, textiles, machinery and transportation equipment, building materials, mineral products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: India 21.3%, China 16.5%, Singapore 8.6%, Iran 7.7%, UAE 4.4%, Malaysia 4.3% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $6.831 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $6.748 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $26.87 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $23.98 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $16.92 billion (31 December 2012) $19.44 billion (31 December 2011) $19.92 billion (31 December 2010)
Exchange rates: Sri Lankan rupees (LKR) per US dollar - 127.6 (2012 est.) 110.57 (2011 est.) 113.06 (2010 est.) 114.95 (2009) 108.33 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 11.52 billion kWh (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 91
Electricity - consumption: 10 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 3.139 million kW (2011 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 53.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 44.6% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1.6% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 41,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 50,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 89,620 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 48,140 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 14.09 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 2.832 million (2013)
country comparison to the world: 52
Cellular Phones in use: 19.336 million (2013)
Telephone system: general assessment: telephone services have improved significantly and are available in most parts of the country

domestic: national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use in Colombo area and fixed wireless local loops have been installed; competition is strong in mobile cellular systems and mobile cellular subscribership is increasing

international: country code - 94; the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media: government operates 8 TV channels and a radio network; multi-channel satellite and cable TV subscription services available; 35 private TV stations and about 50 radio stations (2012)
Internet country code: .lk
Internet hosts: 9,552 (2012)
Internet users: 1.777 million (2009)
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Airports: 19 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 138
Airports (paved runways): total 15
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 4

914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Railways: total 1,449 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2007)
Roadways: total 91,907 km
Waterways: 160 km (primarily on rivers in southwest) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 21

by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 13, chemical tanker 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 2

foreign-owned: 8 (Germany 8) (2010)
Ports and terminals: Colombo
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Military branches: Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18-22 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 5-year service obligation (Air Force) (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 5,342,147
females age 16-49: 5,466,409 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 4,177,432
females age 16-49: 4,574,833 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 167,026
female: 162,587 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 118,376 (civil war; more than half displaced prior to 2008; many of the more than 470,000 IDPs registered as returnees had not reached durable solutions as of September 2012) (2012)
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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