Area: 65,610 sq. km. (25,332 sq. mi.); about the size of West Virginia.
Cities: Capital--Colombo (pop. est. 1.3 million--urban area). Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte is the officially designated capital and is the site of Parliament. Other cities--Kandy (150,000), Galle (110,000), Jaffna (100,000).
Climate: Tropical. Rainy seasons--light in northeast, fall and winter, with average rainfall of 50 in.; heavy in southwest, summer and fall, with average rainfall of 200 in.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Sri Lankan(s).
Population: 21.3 million.
Ethnic groups (2002): Sinhalese (74%), Tamils (18%), Muslims (7%), others (1%).
Religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.
Languages: Sinhala and Tamil (official), English.
Education: Years compulsory--to age 14. Primary school attendance--96.5%. Literacy--91%.
Independence: February 4, 1948.
Constitution: August 31, 1978.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
Branches: Executive--president, chief of state and head of government, elected for a 6-year term. Legislative--unicameral 225-member Parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, subordinate courts.
Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces and 25 administrative districts.
Economy (2010 est.)
Natural resources: Limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, and phosphate.
Agriculture (11% of GDP): Major products--rice, tea, rubber, coconut, and spices.
Services (59% of GDP): Major types--tourism, wholesale and retail trade, transport, telecom, financial services.
Industry (29% of GDP): Major types--garments and leather goods, rubber products, food processing, chemicals, refined petroleum, gems and jewelry, non-metallic mineral-based products, and construction.
Trade: Exports--$8.3 billion: garments, tea, rubber products, jewelry and gems, refined petroleum, and coconuts. Major markets--U.S. ($1.77 billion), U.K., India. Imports--$13.5 billion. Major suppliers--India, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Iran, Malaysia, Japan, U.K., U.A.E., Belgium, Indonesia, South Korea, U.S. ($178 million).