999600 ha
1.72 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.


Population by Religion

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The data indicates the details of population of Eastern Province by religion. There are 23% Buddhist, 35% Hindu,37% Islam, 3% Roman Catholic and 2% Non Roman Catholic by percentage.

Population according to census year

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The data is representing the population growth in each year in districts. compered to Ampara and Batticaloa, Trincomalee district holds low amount of population. this situation is considering the topographical factors, availability of urban compact areas, ethnic compositions and available land area.

Age Distribution

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The above graph shows the details of population according to the age distribution in Eastern Province, in year 2012. The graph is expressing the expansive shape, where the younger population is large in number. This gives an idea on labor force in the area.

Place of Birth

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The above chart describes the details of birth place of citizen of Eastern Province. According to the statistics, 89.5% of population born in the same district, where they are living and 10.5% of population born in elsewhere.

Overview of Key Indicators

Source - Central Bank of Sri Lanka-2018

The above chart depicts the details of key indicators at a glance and the chart compares all the details of Eastern Province with the nation, Sri Lanka. Land in Eastern Province is 9, out of 65,, Coastal; 431km out of 1,340km, population; 1.710Mn out of 21.67Bn, GDP(Rs. Bn 2017); 759 out of 13,418, Per Capita (Rs,ooo) 415 out of 619, Poverty HCR (2017) 7.3 in Eastern Province while 4.1 in Sri Lanka, unemployment rate 6.0 in Eastern Province while 4.2 in Sri Lanka, life expectancy 74.0 years in Eastern Province while 75.0 in Sri Lanka, Literacy rate 86.5 in Eastern Province while 93.1 in Sri Lanka as well as computer literacy rate 14.1 in Eastern Province while 27.5 in Sri Lanka and prosperity 2017 0.072 in Eastern Province while 0.771 in Sri Lanka.

Population By Ethnicity

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The above chart indicates the details of population of Eastern Province according to the ethnicity. the persentages of the ethnic groups are, Sinhalese - 23.80%, Tamil - 38.23%, Moor - 36.75%, Indian Tamil - 1.21%, and others - 0.01%.


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.

Percentage of computer owned households

Source - Department of Census and Statistics - Sri Lanka

The above chart is about Percentage of computer owned households in Eastern Province. The data are collected from 2016 to 2019. The percentage of Desktop or Laptop continuously increases respectively 11.2%, 11.7%, 13.2% and 13.4%.

Computer Literacy Rate

Source - Department of Census and Statistics - Sri Lanka

The above chart deals with computer literacy rate from 2016 to 2019 in Eastern Province. According to the statistics, the computer literacy rate is 14.8 in 2016 and 2018, 14.7 in 2017 and 15.7 in 2019.


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. Eastern province GDP increased 8.8% from Rs.749 billion to Rs.815 billion in 2018. Highest contribution to agriculture sector is from Eastern Province (16.5% in 2018)


Source - Department of Census and Statistics - Sri Lanka

The above chart shows the percentage of dependency in Eastern Province. The percentage of total dependency in the province 47.8%, in Ampara District 47.0, in Batticaloa District 48.9% and in Trincomalee 48.9%. As well as the dependency percentages of children and elders in the province respectively 40.2% and 7.6%.

Poverty Headcount index

Eastern Province Contribution of GDP (GDP Shares to National GDP(%))

Poverty Headcount index (%) 2012/13- Ampara District 26%

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.

Administrative Boundaries

Source - Department of Local government - EPC

There are 45 D.S. Divisions (Ampara District-20, Batticaloa District- 14, Trincomalee District-11), 1085 G.N Divisions (Ampara District-506, Batticaloa District-345, Trincomalee District-234), 2138 villages (Ampara District-516, Batticaloa District 965, Trincomalee District-657) 498 wards (Ampara District-225, Batticaloa District 144, Trincomalee District-129) and 10 Electoral Divisions (Ampara District-07, Batticaloa District-05, -Trincomalee District 04)

Local Authorities


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

Land Use Pattern

Source - Department of Surveying

Land USe Pattern

Land Utilization

Thematic maps

1. Eastern Province Boundary:

Eastern Province covers an area of 999600 hectares. (Data Source _ Survey Department)       

Download Map Here                         Download Data Layer Here


2. Road Map of Eastern Province:

The road map for Eastern has more information with name of roads, which can be accessed if downloaded. This information has been updated in 2019.(Data Source _ SoSLC Project)

 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
Eastern Province ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 %
Urban change 1995 - 2017