Home > Asia > Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka flag
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Shri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajavadi Janarajaya
Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu
   Sri Lanka coincides with the island of Ceylon (plus a few other smaller islands) and is located 50 km south-east of India, of which it is almost an extension. The territory of the country rises gradually as you go more inside the main island, and is therefore characterized by the coastal strip and various successive plateaus; in the central-southern area there is a mountain range that exceeds 2,500 meters in height.
Government type Presidential republic
Area 65,610 kmē (25,332 sq mi)
Population 20,359,000 inh. (2012 census)
Population 22,156,000 inh. (2021 est.)
Population density 338 inh/kmē (875 inh/miē)
Capital Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte (108,000 pop.)
Currency Sri Lankan rupee
Human development index 0.782 (73rd place)
Languages Sinhala, Tamil (official), English
Life expectancy M 73 years, F 80 years
Location in Asia


Surrounded by the Indian Ocean


Largest cities
Colombo 561,000 pop., 3,581,000 urban aggl.
Kaduwela 252,000 pop.
Maharagama 196,000 pop.
Kesbewa 185,000 pop.
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia 184,000 pop.
Moratuwa 168,000 pop.
Negombo 142,000 pop.
Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte 108,000 pop.
Highest mountains
Pidurutalagala 2,524 m (8,281 ft)
Longest rivers
Mahaweli 335 km (208 mi)
Largest lakes
Senanayake Samudra (artificial) 100 kmē (39 sq mi)
Largest islands
Ceylon 65,268 kmē (25,200 sq mi)
Mannar 126 kmē (49 sq mi)
Velanai 64 kmē (25 sq mi)
Neduntivu 47 kmē (18 sq mi)


   At the administrative level, Sri Lanka is made up of 9 provinces, which in turn are divided into a total of 25 districts; the central-northern province is the largest and the only, albeit slightly, over 10,000 square kilometers, while the western one is by far the most populated, since all the major cities, starting with Colombo, are located here.

   12 of the 19 cities with at least fifty thousand inhabitants are located in the urban area of Colombo or in its immediate vicinity; the other major urban centers are located along the coast, with the exception of Anuradhapura and Kandy.