Sri Lanka

Languages: Sinhala 74% (official and national), Tamil 18% (national), other 8%; English is commonly used in government and spoken competently by about 10%
Ethnicity: Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001)
Religions: Buddhist 70%, Islam 8%, Hindu 7%, Christian 6% (2001)
Literacy rate: 91.2% (2010 est.)
President: Mahinda Rajapaksa (2005)
Prime Minister: Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Jayaratne (2010)
Capital and largest city: Colombo
Legislative and judicial capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency: Sri Lanka rupee
Economic summary

GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $116.3 billion; per capita $5,700. Real growth rate: 8.3%. Inflation: 7%. Unemployment: 4.2%. Arable land: 14%. Agriculture: rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef; fish. Labor force: 8.134 million; services 43.1%, agriculture 32.7%, industry 24.2% (2010 est.). Industries: processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining. Natural resources: limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower. Exports: $10.54 billion (2011 est.): textiles and apparel, tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish. Imports: $20.27 billion (2011 est.): textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment. Major trading partners: U.S., UK, India, Germany, Singapore, China, Iran, Japan, Italy, Belgium (2011).


Telephones: main lines in use: 3.608 million (2011); mobile cellular: 18.319 million (2011). Radio broadcast stations: AM 26, FM 45, shortwave 1 (1998). Radios: 3.85 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: 21 (1997). Televisions: 1.53 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 9,552 (2012). Internet users: 1.777 million (2009).


Railways: total: 1,449 km (2007). Highways: total: 91,907 km; paved: 91,860 km; unpaved: 4,835 km (2008). Waterways: 160 km; navigable by shallow-draft craft (2012). Ports and harbors: Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee. Airports: 18 (2012).


An island in the Indian Ocean off the southeast tip of India, Sri Lanka is about half the size of Alabama. Most of the land is flat and rolling; mountains in the south-central region rise to over 8,000 ft (2,438 m).