Demographics of Sri Lanka


The Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka were considered to be "stateless" and over 300 000 Indian Tamils were deported back to India, due to the agreement between Sri Lanka and India in 1964.


The 1978 constitution, while assuring freedom of religion, gives "the foremost place" to Buddhism. ==Languages== Sinhala, an Indo-European language, is the first language of the Sinhalese.


The population had grown by 5,512,689 (37.1%) since the 1981 census (the last full census), equivalent to an annual growth rate of 1.1%.


Sri Lanka is ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse. ==Overview== According to the 2012 census the population of Sri Lanka was 20,359,439, giving a population density of 325/km2.

Sri Lanka's rapidly growing older population has ignited concerns of the socio-economic challenges that the country will face because of this. ==Ethnicity== 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, who live predominantly in the north and east of the island, form the largest minority group at 11.1% (according to the 2012 census) of the population. The Moors, descendants of Arab traders that settled in Sri Lanka and married local women, form the third largest ethnic group at 9.3% of the population.

Tamil is also the first language the majority of Moors and the Indian Tamils - according to the 2012 census 98% of Moors could speak Tamil but only 59% could speak Sinhala. Malays speak Sri Lanka Malay, a Creole language mixing Sinhala, Tamil and Malay.

According to the 2012 census 24% of the population could speak English.


In 2015, Sri Lanka's population aged over 60 was 13.9%, by 2030 this will increase to 21% and by 2050 this number will reach 27.4%.

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Page generated on 2021-08-05