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Population of Sri Lanka

Population of Sri Lanka

The simple answer for the question is approximately 21 Million according to Statistic department of Sri Lanka

Population of Sri Lanka (2016 & 2017 Statistic)

YearPopulationYearly %
Migrants (net)Median AgeFertility RateDensity (P/Km²)Urban
Pop %
Urban PopulationCountry’s Share of
World Pop
World PopulationSri Lanka
Global Rank
201720,905,3350.45 %94,519-75,03432.62.0933319.4 %4,050,3070.28 %7,515,284,15358
201620,810,8160.46 %95,806-75,03432.62.0933219.3 %4,007,3740.28 %7,432,663,27557
201520,715,0100.5 %102,740-97,000322.1133019.2 %3,966,9710.28 %7,349,472,09957
201020,201,3120.68 %134,981-104,000302.2832218.8 %3,803,1930.29 %6,929,725,04358
200519,526,4060.78 %148,532-89,900292.2631118.8 %3,667,4090.3 %6,519,635,85054
200018,783,7450.58 %107,062-92,300282.2430018.5 %3,475,8190.31 %6,126,622,12152
199518,248,4351.04 %183,524-51,200262.3829118.5 %3,375,4710.32 %5,735,123,08449
199017,330,8171.38 %230,008-27,500242.6427618.6 %3,216,2890.33 %5,309,667,69948
198516,180,7761.48 %228,843-79,100233.1925818.6 %3,012,9790.33 %4,852,540,56945
198015,036,5621.8 %256,114-47,500223.6124018.8 %2,823,0060.34 %4,439,632,46543
197513,755,9901.95 %253,699-29,00021421919.5 %2,679,7940.34 %4,061,399,22843
197012,487,4932.35 %273,962-7,700204.719919.5 %2,436,2930.34 %3,682,487,69143
196511,117,6852.36 %244,303-3,300205.814117.6 %1,959,3040.33 %3,322,495,12144
19609,896,1722.3 %212,726-15,000195.815816.4 %1,625,9160.33 %3,018,343,82845
19558,832,5411.81 %151,346-3,300205.814115.6 %1,381,9950.32 %2,758,314,52544

One of the most rewarding things of travelling is meeting new people. Getting to know the locals help us really understand a place, making trips more memorable. Sri Lanka is not only rich with lush beauty, UNESCO World Heritage Site-worthy history and delectable cuisines; it is also the land of friendly, welcoming people.

The population Sri Lanka holds within its territory is a mix of different religions, ethnicity and cultures. However, they all come together as one when in need and they all love helping people whether it is a lost tourist or a freaked-out local.

Population Sri Lanka: The Numbers

Sri Lanka is home to 20, 810,816 people. Seventy percent of the country’s population is Buddhists. The country converted into Buddhism in 246 BCE when King Devanampiya Tissa followed the mission of the Indian Buddhist Emperor, Ashoka who had sent his son Arahath Mahinda.

Shortly after, Arahath Sanghamitra, Ashoka’s daughter, brought along a sapling of the Bo tree which was planted in Anuradhapura by the Sri Lankan King. From then on, the Kings spread the religion throughout the country by building Buddhist monasteries and missionaries. The country has the lengthiest history of Buddhism when compared to any other Buddhist nation. These Buddhists are locally known as Sinhalese and mostly populate the southwest cities of the island.

The Hindus manage to take up eighteen percent of Sri Lanka’s population pie. Also known as the Tamils, they are categorized into two; Ceylon or Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils are mostly populated around the northern and eastern parts, whereas the Indian Tamils are concentrated in the south central region. The third largest group is the Muslims categorized as Sri Lankan Moors, Indian Moors and Malays who make up roughly ten percent of the population.

Islam was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 6th Century BC when Arab traders settled in the country. However, most of them were persecuted during the reign of the Portuguese resulting in them migrating to the East Coast and Central Highlands. The Christians or Burghers are the descendants of the Dutch and Portuguese settlers and contribute only eight percent to population Sri Lanka out of which majority are Roman Catholics and the rest are Anglican.

This multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society is well-recognized for their persistent hospitality, smiling faces and enthusiasm to help.

There is always something new you can learn from meeting new people. The Sri Lankans teach us that the eagerness to help and friendliness always etches a strong mark in the minds and hearts of every traveler. No matter their religion, ethnicity or the language they speak, Sri Lankans will always be identified by the description of welcoming people.

Is there anyone who would say no to the question, ‘Would you visit Sri Lank again?’ I don’t think so!

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