Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council

දෙහිවල-ගල්කිස්ස (dehivala-galkissa)
தெஹிவளை – கல்கிசை (Tehivaḷai - kalkicai)
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia is a main starlight city of Colombo. It is located in the Sothern boundary of Colombo as a coastal city. The city land uses can be identified as industry dominant in some parts. Rathmalana Airport is located within the city limits.



SoSLC ESTIMATE IN 2017 - (Colombo, Dehiwala and Kotte)


POPULATION DENSITY ESTIMATE IN 2017 (Est. population/Built up area) - Colombo,Dehiwala and Kotte

115 persons / ha



FRINGE URBAN AREA - Colombo, Dehiwala and Kotte-2017

38,134 ha


  • Population
  • urban extent
    2,127 ha
  • density
    115 Person/ha

The section which is about "People & Functions" provides a description of the demographic status and trends in Sri Lankan cities, based on 2012 census data. 

This section presents some of the demographic patterns and trends in Sri Lankan cities within its current boundaries, which provides information for better planning of our cities. If these demographic pointers are taken into account, cities can be more livable and better service the citizenry of Sri Lanka.

The demographic attributes and functions of Sri Lanka's cities have implications for policy makers and planners achieving a better urban future for all Sri Lankans from the following aspects:


  • Sri Lanka’s cities benefit from a demographic dividend that can drive the urban economy;
  • Cities provide key functions that drive Sri Lanka’s economy, including commercial, industrial and transport infrastructure, and supporting social services;


  • Cities could be the gateways to the economy and social integration of the varied ethnic and religious groups in the country. This rich heritage can be capitalized on to promote tourism while also building up national integration and social cohesion.
  • Inclusive urban planning and universal design will allow the aging population be mobile and access public services.
  • Residents in remote urban centres lack the social and economic opportunities afforded to residents of the capital, Colombo;


  • Cities provide a range of important sevices that are important for the population to respond to shocks and stresses.


  • Cities can provide a safe environment for female headed households, which can be enhanced through better lighting and policing of streets, and easy access to affordable housing and governance systems.


  • Sustainable urban development requires an appropriately skilled and educated workforce that can plan for the future while respond to current challenges
  • Providing equitable access to economic and social services across Sri Lanka’s cities will redistribute economic opportunities across, leading to diversified, balanced and, hence, sustainable economic development. 
Language competency
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Data showing the multinational language skills of ethnic group in 2012 in the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council
Sex Ratio (Female per every 100 Males) by age group
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Sex ratio is calculated using the percentage of proportion of males relative to females in a population. The graph indicates that more females than males in age group of over 30.
Female Headed households and Male Headed Households with National Average
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The proportion of female headed households in Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia MC is lower than the national average.
Migrant population by gender
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
More females than males migrated into city
Ethnic profile
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Dehiwela’s ethnic city makeup comprises a majority of 70 per cent Sinhalese, followed by 15.1 per cent Sri Lanka Moor, 11.3 per cent Tamil, and 3.7 per cent Other groups.
Population Growth rate
Source - JICA
The graph elaborates the population growth in the area
Reason for migration
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Priority migrations of male and female population is considering the employment in the city according to the data. More females are migrated with a family member compared to males who have migrated with a family member.
Gender distribution by age
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Aging population in the city area is in a low rate. City holds high number of people in the labor force which is a plus factor to the economic growth in the city.


Education has always been a significant element in societal development. The development of education facilities contributes substantially to the development in an urban area.

As a developing country it is crucial to address poverty in order to attain the development goals. Education plays a major role in poverty reduction. Presently, several global cities have been implementing the concept of smart city to improve the quality of life of the society, including in the field of education.

Good educational institutions and coverage enables a population to have decent livelihoods be they self employed or part of the workforce. Understanding how a city provides primary, secondary and tertiary eductional as well as skill development through vocational centres could provide some pointers to how well a city is doing or where it needs to develop further.

Category of Educational attainment by Gender( aged 3 - 24 years )
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
More people seen in the school education attainment while around 30 per cent of age group seen in not studying category.
Highest Level of Education achieved by Gender
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
This graph shows that there is still a higher proportion of males that achieve a higher degree and above despite more females graduating from GCE (O/L) and GCE (A/L).
Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The graph shows that 15-19 of age group is highest computer literacy by gender in Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia MC in 2012


Connectivity is central to key GoSL strategic aims: to promote economic growth, and to rebalance growth across the country’s 9 provinces. Higher the connectivity to any city, better is the urban growth in that city. 

Detailed information on key transport aspects including bus and rail transport, freight route maps, airports and logistic systems are aspects that should be considered for a city to be properly interconnected within the bigger system. One of the SDG targets 11.2 is about access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, road safety, public transport, and if we are to move towards being sustainble, these need to be considered in tranpsort planning. Further, the needs of people in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons should also be considered.

ICT coverage is another way of being connected and recent technological advances enable a city to be better connected through its access to ICTs as well.

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)
Source - Sri Lanka Police Department
The graph shows the fatal road accidents in the area over the past three years. From 2015 to 2016, the number of fatal accidents has increased.
Number of railway passengers annually
Source - Sri Lanka Railways
The graph shows that annual railway passengers from 2012 to 2016 in Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia municipal council
Modal share of vehicles entering in Municipal Council from 06 am to 06 pm (Percent)
Source - SOSLC Project
This highest percentage of vehicles entering into the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia MC area between 6 am to 6pm were private vehicles such as motorcycles and car/van/jeeps totaling around 89 per cent of the modal share. Route bus only has an 6 per cent modal share of vehicles.
Hourly traffic flow (in day time )
Source - SOSLC Project
Between 7 am to 8 am is the busiest traffic period in the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia MC area with peak reached at 8am due to school and work commuting traffic.
Number of Vehicles and Passengers by Mode - One Way, 24 Hours
Source - SOSLC Project
The route buses are the dominant type of vehicle in the area which tolerate the majority of the passengers. Motor cycles and cars/vans are also used in a considerable level.
Pedestrian crossing
Source - SOSLC Project
Pedestrian counting survey was done considering few pedestrian crossings in the city. Relation ship in between the school times, office hours and pedestrian movements is well elaborated in the graph.


Cities are the primary drivers of economic development, therefore, Sri Lanka’s cities have a decisive role to play in driving the economy forward by catalysing high value-added economic activities, as the country strives to achieve upper middle-income country status.

According the latest Word Cities report, 80 per cent of global GDP is created by cities, despite their accounting for less than 60 per cent of the world’s population (UN-Habitat, 2016).

The Government of Sri Lanka recognizes the role of urban economy in shaping the future of the country. In this respect, Vision 2025 and Public Investment Programme (PIP) 2017-2020 lays out the urban policy priority actions: to promote western region as economic hub of the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, and to promote strategic city development to secondary urban spaces as provincial economic hubs. 

It is also interesting to see how competitive a city is, taking into account current and potential roles of governments, businesses and the private sector in the economic development of the city and urban settlements, best use of human capital,  and labour force participation, and existing skills and the job market etc. within demarcated territory. 

Annual Revenue and Expenditure
Source - Dehiwala Municipal Council
According to the annual averages, the total of own-source revenues accounts for 60% in the total municipal revenues and the grants from the central government and the provincial council occupy 40%. The own-source revenues are categorized into (1) Rates/Taxes constituted mainly by the property taxes, (2) Rents of facilities and other municipal properties, (3) License fees, (4) Fees for municipal services, (5) Warrant costs and fines, (6) Other revenues. Among the own-source revenues, the property taxes (Rates/Taxes) and other revenues are the major types since the share of these revenues accounts for 25% and 24% in the total municipal revenues respectively. Although the grants occupies 40% in the total municipal revenues, the most of the amount is the block grant (36% in the total municipal revenues) released by the central government as salary and allowances for the municipal staff. The share of the capital grant is small accounting for 3.6% in the total revenues.
Estimated City Competitiveness Index (CCI)
Source - SOSLC Project
The data is common to the Colombo urban area which includes Dehiwala MC and Kotte MC. According to the data, the city is ranked as the first highest on the CCI following Kurunegala and Kandy as second and third respectively.

Urban governance

Urban governance can be simplified as “how government (local, regional and national) and stakeholders decide on planning, financing and managing urban areas”. It involves a continuous process of negotiation and contestation over allocation of social and material resources and political power.

This section provide a snapshot of the emergent contours of urban governance in Sri Lanka, focusing on financial resilience, service provision and economic dynamism.

Information available here are collected and calculated considering secondary data sets, ground level surveys as well as stakeholder discussions. The city governance index has taken many a factor into consideration and provides a valuable way of assessing our cities and how they rank from a governance perspective.

City Governance Index
Source - SOSLC Project
This data is common to Colombo, Dehiwala and Kotte MC areas, which covers the urban area of the capital city of Sri Lanka. the service delivery coverage and the service delivery financing is in a high level in this cities according to the data available.


An important function of Sri Lanka’s cities is to provide housing for the diversity of residents that support urban life. Sri Lankan early urban settlement legacy – histories, patterns, trends including land use and housing and the development challenges that come along with it have shaped the nature of our cities.

The share of housing as a proportion of built-up area across the different cities was considered, and numerous factors affect the figure. e.g. Anuradhapura, has restrictions on residential developments because of its cultural, historical and touristic importance, other MCs include significant social and economic land use, operating as a hub to surrounding suburbs and rural areas with large residential populations.

Housing policy challenges that are encountered by the city administrators relate to tenure systems, the supply of affordable, high quality housing, and difficulties accessing housing finance. 

Types of housing unit
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The graph indicates the typology of housing in the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia MC Area. The majority of housing (around 85 per cent) comprises single story and two story houses.
Types of housing
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The graph indicate that in Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia municipal council almost 95.4 per cent of the houses were permanent in 2012

Municipal Services

Municipal services is one of the key tasks an urban centre carries out fto ensure a functional living condition for its citizens.

The access to municipal services and the quality of their provision strongly influence the social, economic and environmental performance of a city as well as urban development.

Urban centres provide key services that underpin Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development. Cities provide key government administration functions, such as vehicle registration services, access to social protection schemes, and a range of additional services (explored in detail in Chapter 9, urban governance in the SoSLC Report). Urban centres provide residents with health and education services: providing equitable access to quality healthcare and education. They also include services to facilitate social recreational activities and promote community cohesion, such as libraries, community centres and sports facilities. Ensuring quality services is a crucial component in securing an urban future for all Sri Lankans. 

Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia MC Area has extremely high coverage of electricity and water services with 98.8 per cent and 99.7 per cent having access to safe drinking water and electricity respectively.
Waste Generation Amount
Source - JICA
Waste generation amount was calculated based on the waste generation rate obtained by SATREPS in November 2012 and waste generation units obtained by locally outsourced survey. As a result, municipal waste generation amount is 175.2 ton/day and waste generation rate is 933g/person/day.
Waste Composition
Source - JICA
The results of the locally outsourced survey on waste composition conducted from 15 to 21 October 2012 in Karadiyana Disposal Site is shown in this graph. The level of waste management of Dehiwala Mt. Lavinia MC is considered high compared to the other municipalities. To establish the current management system, MC has made various improvements based on the plan 10 years ago. However, there is no future plans. There is a need for the development of solid waste management master plan, since it is essential to formulate waste policy for the future.
Solid waste collection and disposal (Per day)
Source - JICA
Almost 97 per cent households were covered for garbage collection.

Thematic maps

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Detailed layer on the available land uses in the MC area is visualized in this map space.

  • Total Built-Up
  • Residential
    • High Rise
      • 13.09
    • Low Rise
      • 1120.93
    • Slum
      • 39.14
    • Shanty
      • 0.02
  • Commercial
    • Retail
      • 149.36
    • Office
      • 4.57
    • Mixed Retail-Residential
      • 4.48
    • Banks
      • 2.08
  • Institutional
    • Education
      • University
      • Other higher edu.
      • School
    • Health
      • Hospital
      • Dispensary
    • Government
      • 84.66
  • Industrial
    • Factory
      • 118.05
  • Transport
    • Bus Terminus
      • 2.69
    • Rail Terminus
      • 1.66
    • Airport
      • 91.03
    • Parking
      • 5.51
    • Roads
      • 174.90
  • Public Space
    • Park/Square
      • 11.50
    • Playground
      • 29.94
    • Cemetery
      • 3.24
  • Cultural
    • Religious
      • Temple/Shrine
      • Church
      • Mosque
    • Archeologic
      • 0.69
  • Under Construction
      • 10.99
Non Built-up
  • Total Non Built-up
  • Agriculture
      • 9.90
  • Water
      • 43.73
  • Forest
      • 0.90
  • Wetland
      • 44.20
  • Coastal area
      • 19.75
  • Barren Land
      • 35.75
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Detailed data layer on urban expansion in the MC area as well as in fringe area is visualized in this map space.

Urban Extent
Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council
  • Urban change 1995 - 2019
  • Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2019
    0 KM2
  • Municipality
      • urban Expansion 1995 - 2019
          • 1995
            Total Municipality
            0 KM2
          • 2001
            Total Municipality
            0 KM2
          • 2012
            Total Municipality
            0 KM2
          • 2017
            Total Municipality
            0 KM2
          • 2019
            Total Municipality
            0 KM2
  • Fringe
      • urban Expansion 1995 - 2019
          • 1995
            Total Fringe
            0 KM2
          • 2001
            Total Fringe
            0 KM2
          • 2012
            Total Fringe
            0 KM2
          • 2017
            Total Fringe
            0 KM2
          • 2019
            Total Fringe
            0 KM2
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