Onlanka News – By Janaka Alahapperuma
(Pix by: Nalin Hewapathirana)
Sri Lanka’s latest population is 20,277,597 as of 20 March 2012 revealed within the preliminary report issued by the Department of Census and Statistics. The preliminary publication related to the 14th Population and Housing Census handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Superintendent of Census and Director General of Census and Statistics, Mrs Suranjana Vidyaratne at Temple Trees on 25 June.
The National Census-2012 conducted this year which is to gather information individually by visiting houses by enumerators was held island wide from February 27 to March 19. It was carried out in three stages. This is the first census held island wide covering all the districts after the lapse of three decades as the Department was not able to conduct the census in the North and East for the last three decades due to terrorist activities.
Earlier estimates placed the mid year population in 2011 at 20,869 million with an annual growth rate of 1.0 percent. However March 2012 Census revealed the actual population is 20,277 million which is lower than earlier estimates and also the population growth has fallen to 0.7 percent in the past 10 years.
Accordingly the highest population of 28.8 percent of the total population was recorded from the Western Province around the capital Colombo and the lowest population of 5.2 percent was recorded in the Northern Province.
The highest population of 2,323,824 was recorded from the Colombo district while the Gampaha district (2,298,588) came in second position. The lowest population of 92,527 recorded on district wise was from the Mullaitivu district in the north of the island.
The highest population growth rate of 1.33 percent was recorded in the Anuradhapura District, in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The lowest population growth of 0.5 percent was recorded in Nuwara Eliya district.
Deputy Finance Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena, Finance Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Presidential Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and high level officers of the Department of Census and Statistics were present at the handing over of the initial publication of the Census Report to the President.
Final Report of the 2012 Census of Population and Housing will be released soon.
Source: Department of Census and Statistics- Sri Lanka.