567,400 ha
4.79 persons / ha

A city is a large human settlement. People are the main driving force in a city. The dynamism of a city is dependent  on people and their behaviour. A preliminary understanding of the composition and diverse capabilities of the populations in a city should be the key to a successful urban study.

Predictions made by identifying demographic and composition patterns of the population within the existing physical boundary will create a well-planned livable  city.


Gender distribution by age

Gender Distribution

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Out of the total population of Central province, 1,229,795 (or 47.8%) are males and 1,341,762 (or 52.2%) are females. Above chart presents percentage distribution of population by sex. Sex ratio is defined as the number of males per 100 females. Census 2012 reports that there are 94 males for every 100 females in Sri Lanka. According to the data Matale district sex ratio (93) is higher than those ratios in Kandy district (91) and Nuwara Eliya district.

Population according to census year

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Thirteen percent (or 2,571,557) of Sri Lankan population lived in Central province. Almost 83 percent of population in Kandy district live in the same district since birth. Corresponding figures for Matale district and Nuwara Eliya district are 79.4 percent and 87.3 percent respectively. Out of the total population in the Central province 1,375,382 (53.5%) belongs to Kandy district. Matale district and Nuwara Eliya district population are 484,531 (18.8%) and 711,644 (27.7%) respectively. Population density (or number of persons per square kilometer) of the province is 461p.p.km2. Population density of Kandy district (717 p.p.km2) is higher than Matale district (248 p.p. km2) and Nuwara Eliya district (417 p.p. km2).


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 Number of fatal casualties are increased in number according to the records.

Download data file here


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. 

GDP by Sector

Source - Central Bank Annual Report

The GDP contribution by sector values shows where production takes place in an economy. The distribution gives the percentage contribution of agriculture, industry, and services to total GDP, and will total 100 percent of GDP if the data are complete. Agriculture includes farming, fishing, and forestry. Industry includes mining, manufacturing, energy production, and construction. Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other private economic activities that do not produce material goods. Central province is the second largest contributes to national GDP according to statistics department of central bank .However the contribution form Central province declined from 12.1% to to 11.8% in 2018.


A city needs to have an environment that is habitable and conducive with appropriate spaces for people who use the city, while also being resilient in the face of increasing climate risk.

Aspects such as a cities’ air and water quality, quality of the built environment as well as the aesthetic and historic aspects in the city are things we need to look at. However, in the light of increasing disaster risk, managing climate change impact in the light of current urbanisation patterns becomes a key concern, and thus land use planning in a city needs to take this into account.

SDG targets 11.4 (safeguarding cultural and natural heritage) and 11.5 (reducing impacts of disasters, especially floods), 11.6 (air quality and waste) and  11.7 (safe, open and green spaces for all groups) all emphasize that for a city to be sustainable, these aspects need to be considered.

Rainfall and Rainy Days

Source - Department of Meteorology

Central province is located in the hill county, Sri Lanka where annual average rain fall is around 2000mm. This is the water catchment area of many rivers and streams all around the country. This graph indicates the data from Katugasthota Meteorological Station. The data of Nuwera Eliya station is also available to refer. It is important to note that, except in 2016, all the other years so far hold records on miner scale and considerable level flood situations.

Thematic maps


Administrative Boundary of Central Province:

This boundary consist of three Districts named as Kandy, Mathale and Nuwara Eliya. Total extent of the area is 567,400 hectare.(Data Source: Survey Department)

Download Map Here                     Download Data Layer Here

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Proper management of land, a scarce resource, can bring about many benefits. This is of great importance especially in urban areas.


It is timely to figure out how land is allocated and being used for what purpose in our cities today. In order to create well planned cities with a futuristic vision, having a better understanding of current land use is imperative.


Land use maps are categorized into 36 sub-categories under two types – built-up and non built-up. The extent of land in each of these sub categories are indicated below.


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In all of the cities it can be identified that the higher densities are concentrated in the city centres and the expansion is taken place along the roads. The expansion pattern is shaped by the geography of the surrounding area.


The selection of the area for the urban expansion analysis was followed by several preliminary studies. Initially, the urban index values which was identified using the remote sensing information were studied in the respective municipal areas including a fringe area.
Before selecting interested area for the expansion analysis it should consider following facts
- Municipal boundary
- At least 2-3 km buffer around Municipal boundary
- Rough boundary where the physical urban character disappearing


In the remote sensing discipline, the values higher than 0 represent the built-up areas.The boundary for the fringe area was identified by getting the extent of urban expansion as well as a fine boundary where the high-density expansion become insignificant. The identified boundaries were projected on to the latest satellite images to assure the identified urban index values are in line with the existing building densities.



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Urban expansion statistics
Central Province ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 %
Urban change 1995 - 2017