Census shows Lanka’s population 20.2 million

The latest countrywide census conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics has placed Sri Lanka’s population at 20.2 million, official sources said yesterday. According to the headcount, 14.9 million are Sinhala. Around 220,000 persons add to the total population of Sri Lanka annually and by 2041 the total population of Sri Lanka will be around 24 million, the census, which was the first to be conducted islandwide in 30 years, showed.

The population of the north is 997,754 of which 934,392 are Tamils. There are only 21,860 Sinhala and 32,659 Muslims in the five districts of the Northern Province. The census revealed that out of the total Muslim population of more than 1.5 million, more than one-third live in the north and east. The majority live in the east, where they constitute about a third of the population, which has roughly an equal proportion of Sinhala, Muslims and Tamils, officials said.

The Department has finalized the first report on preliminary data of the islandwide census and it will be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon, Director General D.B.P. Suranjana Vidyaratne told the Sunday Times. Details of the report would be made public after the report was submitted to the President.

The census results would be released in three stages. A general figure on the country’s population and data about households would be released first and other information would follow. Data related to internet usage and migration would be released in the third and final stage, according to Additional Director General D.C.A. Gunawardena.

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