Sri Lanka

The fast growing “Maritime Hub” in the
Indian Ocean


Official Name

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Government Type



430 km North to South, 225 km East to West


1,340 km


65,525 sq. km

Currency (code)

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)


Feb. 4, 1948

Administrative Capital

Sri Jayewardenepura

Commercial Capital



Typically tropical, with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing bad weather to the south and west.


Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; Mountains in south-central interior



Population Growth Rate


Population Density

323 people per sq. km

Life Expectancy at Birth

74 years (female); 64 years (male)

Literacy Rate

Female 87.9%; Male 92.5%


Sinhalese 74.9%; Sri Lanka Tamil 11.2%; Indian Tamil 4.2%; Sri Lanka Moor 9.2%; Burgher 0.2%; Malay 0.2%; Other 0.1 (2012 Census)


Sinhala (official and national language); Tamil (official and national language); English (a link language)


Buddhist 70.2%; Hindu 12.6%; Islam 9.7%; Roman Catholic 6.1; Other 1.3% (2012 Census)

Time Zone

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT (allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe)

International Dialing



Sri Lanka’s most dynamic sectors are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, insurance and banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than US$1 billion every year

Labour Force

Based on 2012 data, Sri Lanka has an economically active population of nearly 8.5 million of which 31% is employed in agriculture, 26.1% in the industry sector and 42.9% in the service sector. The unemployment rate is 4.0%

Agriculture & Products

Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts, milk, eggs, fish


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


Textiles and apparel; Tea and spices; Diamonds, emeralds and rubies; Coconut products, rubber manufactures and fish


Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, and machinery and transportation equipment: $10.61 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.). Percentage of main commodities from main import partners: India 19.6%, China 10.5%, Singapore 8.8%, Iran 5.7%, Malaysia 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Japan 4.1% (2006)

Source: Sri Lanka Tourism, Sri Lanka Department of Census and Statistics

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