23 Salient Facts About Sri Lanka

Is a loved one moving to this island or have you always fancied living on its sandy shores? Take a look at these 23 facts about Sri Lanka to see how your local knowledge fares!

Geographical stats

  1. Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is a small island off the south coast of India in the Indian Ocean.
  2. Its nearest neighbours are India to the north, Bangladesh and Burma (Myanmar) to the northeast, Thailand to the east, Malaysia, Sumatra and Java to the southeast and Maldives to the southwest.
  3. Do you miss watching the blue whales or drinking the beautiful locally grown tea? Head for the coordinates of 7.0000° N, 81.0000° E to find yourself back in Sri Lanka.
  4. The terrain here is mostly low, flat-to-rolling plain with mountains in the centre of the island.
  5. The total land area of Sri Lanka is 25,299 square miles (65,525 square kilometres)…
  6. …that’s slightly smaller than Scotland.
  7. Sri Lanka’s population was 22.1 million in 2015…
  8. …that’s around four times the population of Scotland!
  9. Residents here are known as Sri Lankans.
  10. Sri Lanka has two capital cities; Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Colombo. SJK is the legislative capital and a suburb of the commercial capital, Colombo. Colombo covers an area of 14.4 square miles (37.3 square kilometres) and had a population of 707,000 in 2015.
  11. Sri Lankans enjoy a tropical monsoon climate. The northeast of the country has a monsoon season from December to March, whilst the southwest has a monsoon season from June to October. Despite this, there is often lovely weather throughout the country all year round, with an average temperature of 27°C!

Social intricacies

  1. The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. English is also spoken here.
  2. Although cricket is very popular in Sri Lanka, Volleyball is actually the national sport!
  3. Sri Lanka gained independence from the British Empire in 1948 and became part of the British Commonwealth. Sri Lanka left the British Commonwealth in 1972, at which point the name was changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka.
  4. Sri Lanka Rupee the official currency here.
  5. Did you know, Sri Lanka is one of the largest tea exporters in the world?
  6. Cinnamon was first discovered in Sri Lanka around 2,800BC…
  7. …Sri Lanka now produces around 80-90% of the worlds cinnamon!
  8. The average life span here is 72 years.

Industry insights

  1. Sri Lanka grows rice, coconuts, grains, sugarcane and pulses; it also rears cattle and produces milk.
  2. Its industry consists of tea, coconuts, rubber processing, agricultural commodities, clothing and cement.
  3. Sri Lanka also exports textiles, apparel, diamonds, tea, coconut products and petroleum products.

Bonus Fact!

  1. Know any friends or family settled in Sri Lanka? You can call Sri Lanka cheaply through Cherry Call.  Don’t forget to use the international dialling code of 0094.

To keep up-to-date with what’s going on, head over to The Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka.

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