RELIGION LIBRARY

Sri Lanka

COUNTRY PROFILE

Map of Sri Lanka

The country has an area of 25,322 square miles and a population of 20.1 million.
Approximately 70 percent of the population is Buddhist, 15 percent Hindu, 8 percent Christian, and 7 percent Muslim. Christians tend to be concentrated in the west, Muslims populate the east, and the north is almost exclusively Hindu.
Most members of the majority Sinhala community are Theravada Buddhists. Most Tamils, who make up the largest ethnic minority, are Hindus. Almost all Muslims are Sunnis; there is a small minority of Shi'a, including members of the Bohra community. Almost 80 percent of Christians are Roman Catholics, with Anglican and other mainstream Protestant churches also present in cities. Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Baptists, Dutch Reformed, Anglicans, Pentecostals, and members of the Assemblies of God are also present. Evangelical Christian groups have grown in recent years, although membership is small.

Population Population (2009 est.) 21,324,791
Religious Demographics Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Languages Languages Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Country Flag Flag of Sri Lanka