Sri Lanka Population 2020

21,391,266

Sri Lanka may seem like a small island lying southeast of India. However, it has a significant population of 21.41 million in 2020 (down from 21,481,334 in 2013), with the most dense areas lying in the urban areas such as the capital, Colombo, and other large cities that are also the industrial and economic hubs of the country. It is growing at a rate of 0.913% annually and houses people from many different ethnicities and religions, which gives the country a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic identity. Sri Lanka is the 58th most populous country in the world.

Sri Lanka Area and Population Density

This island located in the Indian Ocean has approximately 65,610 square kilometers available within its borders. It has 1,340 kilometers of coastline. The amount of area available calculated in relation to the number of people residing in this country gives us an average population density of approximately 319 individuals per square kilometer.

Largest Cities in Sri Lanka

The most populated city in Sri Lanka is also the capital city as well as an ancient port. This city is Columbo, with a population of 648,034. In second place, is Mount Lavinia - a suburban area that features golden beaches and just over 219,000 individuals. In a close third place, Galkissa comes in with just over 215,000 residents.

Sri Lanka Demographics

Sri Lanka hosts a dynamic age structure that includes a very large age bracket of 25-54 year old individuals dominating the country. Around 42.6% of the population lies in that age bracket. Even though Sri Lanka is a developing economy, such a large working population is allowing it to pursue development projects and create a large number of jobs that can utilized by its inhabitants. This is not only helping many people to support their families, but is also helping Sri Lanka’s economy grow steadily in the last few years.

Moreover, the median age of people in Sri Lanka is estimated to be 31.1 years, with the median age of men being 30.1 years while females have a median age of 32.2 years. Furthermore, Sri Lanka has a high life expectancy of 75.94 years, with a male life expectancy at 72.43 years and female life expectancy at 79.59 years. This is also why 9.1% of the country's population is in the 54-65 year age bracket, while 8.1% of its population is above the age of 65. An estimate of the number of deaths each year in the Sri Lanka lies at 5.96 deaths per a population of 1000 people.

Sri Lanka is a country of multiple ethnicities, but the two most prominent are the Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Sinhalese make up around 75% of the total population and are concentrated in the central and southwestern parts of the country. The Tamils make up around 11.9% of the total population and are thus the largest minority present in the country.

Sri Lanka Religion, Economy and Politics

The Sinhalese are predominantly Buddhist, and thus it is the major religion in the country, followed by Hinduism, which is actively practiced by the Tamils. The next most popular religion is Christianity, especially among the Burgher population.

The World Happiness Report gives some insight into the quality of life, as well as a couple additional features of living that some might not often think about. Overall, Sri Lanka rates life quality at 4.4, ranking at 116th in comparison to the countries of the world.

In terms of improved drinking water and sanitation access, 95.6% of the population has improved access to drinking water and 95.1% have improved access to sanitation facilities.

The national expenditure of 3.5% GDP on healthcare results in a physician density of .88 per 1,000 individuals and 3.6 beds per 1,000 residents in terms of hospital bed availability.

Sri Lanka Population History

From the 1500s-1800s Sri Lanka was going from the control of one European country to another, from the Portuguese to the Dutch, to the British. In 1948, Sri Lanka finally got its independence and formed its first government.

The country has seen a couple of cyclones in the 1900s, each which has killed thousands. There were also many civil and religious issues during the 20th century that led to many riots, terrorist attacks, and countless deaths. Unfortunately, this still plagues the country today.

Sri Lanka has had more than its fair share of natural disasters in the 21st century, with flooding in 2003 killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless, an undersea earthquake in 2004 that killed over 30,000, and flooding that affected millions in 2011.

Sri Lanka Population Growth

On the other hand, due to the large number of youngsters in the country, the marriage rates have only gotten higher in the last few decades. The great number of marriages have also resulted in a greater rate of births as well. The birth rate in Sri Lanka has risen in the last few years to around 17.04 births per population of 1000 people. This is also why the population in the 0-14 year old age bracket makes up 24.1% of the total population.

Sri Lanka is a developing country with a lot of potential to grow if it can utilize its large work force and provide job and development opportunities for them. The country is steadily growing and needs to utilize its resources more carefully to sustain its development for the future.

Sri Lanka Population Projections

The current annual growth rate of 0.35% is projected to come to a standstill by around the year 2035. After this, the population is expected to slowly start to decrease. The Sri Lankan population is predicted to be 21,084,042 by 2020, 21,474,701 by 2030, and 21,397,716 by 2040. The slow rate of increase, followed by the equally slow rate of decrease in the future should keep the population extremely steady over the years to come.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 2 minutes
One death every 4 minutes
One net migrant every 6 minutes
Net gain of one person every 6 minutes

Sri Lanka Population in 2018Source: By Anuradha Dullewe Wijeyeratne,168 / 7, Inner Flower Road,Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.Tel�: + 94 11 257 3986Cellular�: + 94 77 761 5870E - Mail�: anuradha.007@live.com [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Sri Lanka Population Pyramid 2020

Sri Lanka Population by Age

There are 15,208,363 adults in Sri Lanka.

Census Years

Year Date
20222022
201221 March 2012
200117 July 2001
Official NameDemocratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Languages SpokenSinhala, Tamil
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude7.00, 81.00
Currencies UsedSri Lanka Rupee
DemonymSri Lankan
BordersIndia
Name Population Location
Colombo648,034Map
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia219,827Map
Moratuwa185,031Map
Jaffna169,102Map
Negombo137,223Map
Pita Kotte118,179Map
Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte115,826Map
Kandy111,701Map
Trincomalee108,420Map
Kalmunai100,171Map
Galle93,118Map
Point Pedro89,810Map
Batticaloa86,742Map
Katunayaka84,643Map
Valvedditturai78,205Map
Matara76,254Map
Battaramulla South75,633Map
Dambulla66,716Map
Maharagama66,576Map
Kotikawatta64,565Map

Sri Lanka Population Clock

The population of Sri Lanka (as of 4/2/2020)?21,391,266
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2020)21,413,249
Births Per Day901
Deaths Per Day398
Net Migrations Per Day-256
Net Change Per Day247
Population Change Since January 1st22,971

Sri Lanka Population Estimator

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Estimate as of April 2nd 2020 is: 21,391,422

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202021,413,24947.95%52.05%326.37580.42%
201921,323,73347.99%52.01%325.01580.45%
201821,228,76348.03%51.97%323.56580.48%
201721,128,03248.08%51.92%322.02580.51%
201621,021,17148.13%51.87%320.40570.54%
201520,908,02748.20%51.80%318.67570.63%
201020,261,73748.69%51.31%308.82590.72%
200519,544,98849.31%50.69%297.90540.80%
200018,777,60149.88%50.12%286.20520.58%
199518,242,91250.23%49.77%278.05491.04%
199017,325,77350.49%49.51%264.07481.38%
198516,176,28050.79%49.21%246.55451.47%
198015,035,83450.99%49.01%229.17431.80%
197513,755,14651.18%48.82%209.65431.96%
197012,485,74051.49%48.51%190.30432.36%
196511,110,82051.88%48.12%169.35432.39%
19609,874,47652.49%47.51%150.50452.38%
19558,778,43853.33%46.67%133.80451.95%
19507,971,09854.44%45.56%121.49440.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202021,413,24947.95%52.05%326.37580.00%
202521,779,68147.74%52.26%331.96620.34%
203022,023,01647.56%52.44%335.67630.22%
203522,166,31447.44%52.56%337.85670.13%
204022,186,24147.37%52.63%338.15680.02%
204522,070,20647.33%52.67%336.3872-0.10%
205021,813,96847.30%52.70%332.4875-0.23%
205521,438,19847.31%52.69%326.7576-0.35%
206020,972,25147.33%52.67%319.6575-0.44%
206520,436,76547.37%52.63%311.4975-0.52%
207019,841,71447.43%52.57%302.4277-0.59%
207519,193,85447.50%52.50%292.5478-0.66%
208018,501,34847.55%52.45%281.9978-0.73%
208517,768,65547.56%52.44%270.8280-0.80%
209016,989,47547.51%52.49%258.9582-0.89%
209516,157,20047.42%52.58%246.2685-1.00%
  1. Department of Census and Statistics
  2. Department of Census and Statistics
  3. World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1953, 1963, 1971, 1981 and 2001 censuses (including estimates for Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu Killinochchi, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts), the 2012 census, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  4. GeoNames Gazetteer