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Sri Lanka (2005)

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 Sri Lanka
Administrative divisions 8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western; note - North Eastern province may have been divided in two - Northern and Eastern
Age structure 0-14 years: 24.5% (male 2,508,384/female 2,397,986)

15-64 years: 68.4% (male 6,658,765/female 7,059,468)

65 years and over: 7.2% (male 670,813/female 769,360) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef
Airports 14 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 13

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Area total: 65,610 sq km

land: 64,740 sq km

water: 870 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than West Virginia
Background The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced beginning 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 seized power in the north and established a Tamil kingdom. Occupied 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 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. Tens of thousands have died in an ethnic conflict that continues to fester. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam formalized a cease-fire in February 2002, with Norway brokering peace negotiations.
Birth rate 15.63 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $3.34 billion

expenditures: $4.686 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Capital Colombo; note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital
Climate tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Coastline 1,340 km
Constitution adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978; new constitution proposed in 2002
Country name conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

conventional short form: Sri Lanka

former: Serendib, Ceylon
Death rate 6.49 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $10.85 billion (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey J. LUNSTEAD

embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3

mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo

telephone: [94] (11) 244-8007

FAX: [94] (11) 243-7345
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Bernard GOONETILLEKE

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
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $577 million (1998)
Economy - overview In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for market-oriented policies and export-oriented trade. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. In 2003, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for 63%. GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% in the early 1990s until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000 with average growth of 5.3%, but 2001 saw the first contraction in the country's history, -1.4%, due to a combination of power shortages, severe budgetary problems, the global slowdown, and continuing civil strife. Growth recovered to 4.0% in 2002 and to 5.2% in both 2003 and 2004. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% in the Middle East. They send home about $1 billion a year. The struggle by the Tamil Tigers of the north and east for a largely independent homeland continues to cast a shadow over the economy. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took about 31,000 lives, left more than 6,300 missing and 443,000 displaced, and destroyed an estimated $1.5 billion worth of property.
Electricity - consumption 6.228 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 6.697 billion kWh (2002)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Environment - current 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
Environment - international 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
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)
Exchange rates Sri Lankan rupees per US dollar - 101.194 (2004), 96.521 (2003), 95.662 (2002), 89.383 (2001), 77.005 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Mahinda RAJAPAKSE (since 6 April 2004) is the prime minister; the president is considered both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Mahinda RAJAPAKSE is the prime minister (since 6 April 2004); the president is considered both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 21 December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2005)

election results: Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA reelected president; percent of vote - Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA 51%, Ranil WICKREMASINGHE 42%, other 7%
Exports 0 kWh (2002)
Exports $5.306 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities textiles and apparel; tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products; rubber manufactures, fish
Exports - partners US 32.4%, UK 13.5%, India 6.8%, Germany 4.8% (2004)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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 around the entire flag and extends between the two panels
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 19.1%

industry: 26.2%

services: 54.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $4,000 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5.2% (2004 est.)
Geographic coordinates 7 00 N, 81 00 E
Geography - note strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes
Highways total: 11,650 km

paved: 11,068 km

unpaved: 582 km (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 3.5%

highest 10%: 28% (1995)
Imports 0 kWh (2002)
Imports $7.265 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment
Imports - partners India 18%, Singapore 8.7%, Hong Kong 7.7%, China 5.7%, Iran 5.2%, Japan 5.1%, Malaysia 4.1% (2004)
Independence 4 February 1948 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate 7.1% (2004 est.)
Industries rubber processing, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, and banking; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco
Infant mortality rate total: 14.35 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.57 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.8% (2004 est.)
Irrigated land 6,510 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
Labor force 7.26 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 38%, industry 17%, services 45% (1998 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 13.86%

permanent crops: 15.7%

other: 70.44% (2001)
Languages Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%

note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Legal system a highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of a modified proportional representation system by district to serve six-year terms)

elections: last held 2 April 2004 (next to be held by 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party or electoral alliance - SLFP and JVP 45.6%, UNP 37.83%, TNA 6.84%, JHU 5.97%, SLMC 2.02%, UPF 0.54%, EPDP 0.27%, others 0.93%; seats by party or electoral alliance - SLFP and JVP 105, UNP 82, TNA 22, JHU 9, SLMC 5, UPF 1, EPDP 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 73.17 years

male: 70.6 years

female: 75.86 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.3%

male: 94.8%

female: 90% (2003 est.)
Location Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Map references Asia
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
Merchant marine total: 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 120,924 GRT/173,604 DWT

by type: cargo 18, container 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 2

foreign-owned: 10 (Germany 10)

registered in other countries: 1 (2005)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $514.8 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.6% (2004)
National holiday Independence Day, 4 February (1948)
Nationality noun: Sri Lankan(s)

adjective: Sri Lankan
Natural hazards occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Natural resources limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Net migration rate -1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Political parties and leaders All Ceylon Tamil Congress or ACTC [KUMARGURUPARAM]; Ceylon Workers Congress or CWC [Arumugam THONDAMAN]; Communist Party or CP [D. GUNASEKERA]; Democratic United National (Lalith) Front or DUNLF [Shrimani ATULATHMUDALI]; Eelam People's Democratic Party or EPDP [Douglas DEVANANDA]; Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front or EPRLF [Suresh PREMACHANDRAN]; Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna or JVP [Tilvan SILVA]; National Heritage Party or JHU [Tilak KARUNARATNE]; National Unity Alliance or NUA [Ferial ASHRAFF]; People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam or PLOTE [leader NA]; Sihala Urumaya or SU [leader NA]; Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; Sri Lanka Muslim Congress or SLMC [Rauff HAKEEM]; Sri Lanka Progressive Front or SLPF [P. Nelson PERERA]; Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization or TELO [SABARATNAM]; Tamil National Alliance or TNA [R. SAMPANTHAN]; Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF [V. ANANDASANGAREE]; United National Party or UNP [Ranil WICKREMASINGHE]; Up-country People's Front or UPF [P. CHANDRASEKARAN]; several ethnic Tamil and Muslim parties, represented in either Parliament or provincial councils
Political pressure groups and leaders Buddhist clergy; labor unions; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE [Velupillai PRABHAKARAN](insurgent group fighting for a separate state); radical chauvinist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
Population 20,064,776

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 and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 22% (1997 est.)
Population growth rate 0.79% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Colombo, Galle
Radio broadcast stations AM 26, FM 45, shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways total: 1,449 km

broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2004)
Religions Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: very inadequate domestic service, particularly in rural areas; likely improvement with privatization of national telephone company and encouragement to private investment; good international service (1999)

domestic: national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use in Colombo area and two fixed wireless local loops have been installed; competition is strong in mobile cellular systems; telephone density remains low at 2.6 main lines per 100 persons (1999)

international: country code - 94; submarine cables to Indonesia and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (1999)
Telephones - main lines in use 881,400 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 931,600 (2002)
Television broadcast stations 21 (1997)
Terrain mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Total fertility rate 1.85 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.8% (2004 est.)
Waterways 160 km (primarily on rivers in southwest) (2004)
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