Quick Facts

  • Officially called the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  • Gained independence from Great Britain on February 4, 1948
  • Location: Southern Asia island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
  • A strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia
  • Area: slightly larger than the state of West Virginia, 25,322 sq. miles
  • Climate: tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (Dec.-March) and southwest monsoon (June-Oct.)
  • Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plain, mountains in south-central interior
  • Population: 22,053,488
  • Capital and largest city: Colombo (pop. 707,000)
  • Official language: Sinhala; English is commonly used in government and is spoken by about 10% of population.
  • Official religion: Buddhism
  • Literacy: 92.6%
  • Economy: experiencing strong economic growth; famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber, coconuts, and Ceylon tea
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • A republic
  • Chief of state and head of government: President Maithripala Sirisena (since 2015)

Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy: 76.56 years
  • Health expenditures: 3.2% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 0.68 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 3.6 beds/1,000 population
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 0.03%
  • Major infectious diseases risk: high
  • Infectious diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, dengue fever, leptospirosis, rabies
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight: 26.3%
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm



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Area Agencies

Field Stories

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