1,910.6 ha
52 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 Growth rate

Source - JICA

The graph elaborates the population growth in the area

Gender distribution by age

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Out of the total population within the Jaffna Municipal Council limits, 47.03% are male and 52.97% are female. The proportion of the total population divided by age is 23.60% for children under 15, 26.85%, for those aged 15 - 29, 35.23% for those aged 30-59 and 14.3% for the elderly population over 60 year.

Download data file here

Composition of the Ethnic Profile - by Urban Area, District and Province

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Jaffna’s ethnic city makeup comprises a majority of 97 percent tamil and others groups 3 per cent.

Migration to city limits by years of residents

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Immigrant population is significant in settlers more than ten years category and in settlers for less than 5 years of time category. male female disparity in terms of immigration is minimal.

Reason for migration

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Highest number of migrants are resettled after disparagement according to the data.

Language competency

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

This graph indicates that categories of ethnic groups and their language abilities.

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 all age group except less than 15.

Female Headed households and Male Headed Households with National Average

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph shows males and females headed households with respective national average


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

Around 60 per cent of people in school education while 25 per cent not studying.

Highest Level of Education achieved by Gender

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

All the category, female students participated or achieved education is more than male in Jaffna MC.

Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Level of computer literacy in age from 20 to 24 is the best recorded in the city.


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.

Number of Vehicles and Passengers by Mode - One Way, 24 Hours

Source - SOSLC Project

There are number of road transportation modes used by commuter and travelers in city limit. This data is visualizing the number of vehicles and the number of passengers considering 24 hour time period. highest number of passengers are carried by buses. use of motorcycles and three wheeler are also used in a considerably high amount.

Modal share of vehicles entering in Municipal Council from 06 am to 06 pm (Percent)

Source - SOSLC

This highest percentage of vehicles entering into the Jaffna MC area between 6 am to 6pm were private vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles and other vehicles totaling around 83 per cent of the modal share. Route bus only has an 4 per cent and 6 per cent of bicycles entering into Jaffna MC.

Hourly traffic flow (in day time )

Source - SOSLC Project

Traffic increase from 6.00 upwards to 17.00 in the Jaffna MC area with peak reached at 13.00 due to school closing time. This features only for Jaffna MC comparing other cities.

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)

Source - Sri Lanka Police Department

This graph shows fatal casualties within the last 3 years.

Number of railway passengers annually

Source - Sri Lanka Railways

Annual railway passengers to the city is recording an increase according to the data. A huge number of passenger boost can be observed in year 2015.

Railway passengers coming into/from city center

Source - Sri Lanka Railways

The data elaborates the railway passengers commuting to the city as well as out from the city.

Pedestrian crossing

Source - SOSLC Project

The data is elaborating the pedestrian movements in the city.


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. 

Estimated City Competitiveness Index (CCI)

Source - SOSLC Project

Jaffna MC is ranked as the 6th highest along with Anuradhapura on the CCI.

Estimated Gross domestic product per capita

Source - Central Bank Annual report 2017

This graph indicates the gradual rise in per capita GDP in Jaffna MC.

Annual Revenue and Expenditure

Source - Jaffna Municipal Council

The data elaborates the annual revenue and expenditure of the city

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

Jaffna MC has scored a high of 82.59 in the ‘Service Delivery Coverage’ and low of 20.00 in ‘Accountability and Equity’

Distribution of Local Authorities (by Province)

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

In Sri Lanka the LAs are divided into three types according to its population and size: Municipal Councils (MC, 23) which corresponds to the city, Urban Councils (UC, 41) which corresponds to the town, and Pradeshiya Sabha (PS, 271) which corresponds to the village. They are responsible for providing a variety of local public services including roads, sanitation, drains, waste collection, housing, libraries, public parks and recreational facilities. This pie chart shows the distribution of LAs by province in particular local authority belongs. Northern Province include 1 MC’s, 5 UC and 28 PS’s. Jaffna is the provincial capital city of Northern province.


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 Jaffna MC Area. The majority of housing (around 96 per cent) comprises single story and two story houses.

Download data file here

Types of housing

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph indicate that in Jaffna municipal council almost 91.6 per cent of the houses were permanent in 2012.

Download data file here

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

Jaffna MC Area has extremely high coverage of water services with 98.9 per cent having access to safe drinking water but only 90 per cent of electrification coverage.

Solid waste composition

Source - JICA

The results of the locally outsourced survey on waste composition in Kallundai Disposal site is given as waster composition in Jaffna MC

Waste Generation Amount

Source - JICA

This data was collected under a survey on "solid waste management" by JICA. The wast generation amount was calculated based on the waste generation rate obtained by the University of Peradeniya. according to the results, the municipal waste generation amount in Jaffna MC is 104.87 tons/day and the waste generation rate is 1.297 kg/person/day.

Solid waste collection and disposal (Per day)

Source - JICA

Almost 58.8 per cent households were covered for garbage collection, around 40 per cent households burning, burying or open dumping their garbage.


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.

Monthly Average Rainfall and Temperature

Source - Department of Meteorology

Data is on Average rainfall and temperature in urban area. the graph further elaborate the patterns and correlation in between the values.

Flood Data

Source - Disaster Management Center

Urban area in Jaffna is frequently affected due to flood. Considering the records from 2012 to 2017, except the year 2013, flood situations are records. Still in district level, there is a minor scale flood recorded in 2013 which statistics are given as 9 houses damaged. It is important that there are no any records on deaths due to flood in MC area. In district level, there are recorded deaths due to flood as in 2012 – 2 people, 2015 – 3 people and in 2017 – 1 person.

Climate risk exposure(1974-2017)

Source - Disaster Management Center

This graph clearly shows that climate exposure from 1974 to 2017, most of the people only affected due to flood and drought.

Thematic maps



Jaffna Municipal area:

Jaffna Municipal Council covers an area of 1910 hectares. (Data Source _ Urban Development Authority)

Download Map Here                                  Download Data Layer Here



Map of Distribution of Grama Niladhari Divisions in Jaffna Administrative Limits:

The ethnic / sex / age composition in the Jaffna Municipal Council area, detailed for each of its 47 Grama Niladhari Divisions. (Data Source _ Department of Census and Statistics)

 Download Map Here                               Download Data Layer Here


Road Map of Jaffna Municipal Council:

The road map for JMC has more information with name of roads, which can be accessed if downloaded. This information has been updated in 2018.(Data Source _ SoSLC Project)

 Download Map Here                             Download Data Layer Here


Map of buildings belonging to Jaffna Municipal Council:

This map is created using the information that has been updated in 2018.(Data Source _ SoSLC Project)

 Download Map Here                               Download Data Layer Here



Forecasted sea level rise and impacts on land use in Jaffna City for next 100 years:

Jaffna city is situated in the coastal region, and very vulnerable to sea levels rise caused by climate change. The data presented here is based on forecasts by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The impact area is specified separately with its land use.(Data Source _ IPCC & SoSLC Project)

Download Map Here                                      Download Data Layer Here 



The above data layers and prepared maps can be downloaded at once using the link option below. (Download HD Map & Download Spatial Layers)

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SoSLC project, IPPC
SoSLC project, IPPC
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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.


Filter Map
SoSLC project
SoSLC project
Filter Map

The Jaffna Municipal Council covers an area of ​​1910 hectares and 55 Grama Niladhari Divisions within that limits. (For detailed information, please refer to the thematic maps section under the City Information page)


The Jaffna Municipal area, known as the capital city of Nothern Province, has built-up land area (4044.5 hectares) and it covers 79.2% of the total land area. Non built-up land  (369 ha) which is just 20.9%.


The built-up land has been categorized under six main categories as residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, transport, public space, cultural and under construction. Non built-up land has been divided into six sub-categories as agriculture, water, forest, wetlands, coastal areas and barren lands. The built-up land is again divided into 30 subsections. (More information on the respective land use is listed below with charts and land area)

For commercial, industrial and institutional purposes, 48.3 hectares, 7.6 hectares and 107.5 hectares of land are occupied (2.5%, 0.4% and 5.6% of the total land area respectively)


Download data layer here 

SoSLC project
1514.34 (ha)
  • High Rise
    • 1.10
    Low Rise
    • 988.52
    • 2.45
  • Retail
    • 58.49
    • 15.05
    Mixed Retail-Residential
    • 45.49
    • 2.75
  • Education
    • University 1.94
    • Other higher edu. 7.43
    • School 50.48
    • Hospital 8.21
    • Dispensary 2.28
    • 34.17
  • Factory
    • 7.59
  • Bus Terminus
    • 1.16
    Rail Terminus
    • 5.05
    • 1.56
    • 0.17
    • 5.98
    • 154.01
  • Park/Square
    • 16.84
    • 32.38
    • 4.28
  • Religious
    • Temple/Shrine 27.03
    • Church 16.87
    • Mosque 1.17
    • 16.38
    • 5.51
SoSLC project
396.26 (ha)
    • 64.71
    • 26.32
    • 1.89
    • 2.27
    • 3.28
    • 29.04
    • 268.75


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.


Filter Map
Filter Map

Urban Distribution of Jaffna City (Changed during 1995 - 2017)

Jaffna, the capital of the Northern Province, is a city that has undergone significant changes in urbanization after the war. These maps have attempted to give a clear idea of ​​how the urban expansion took place.

To identify the evolution of the construction sector that has taken place within the city limits over the years, the buildings are classified as high and low areas.

Satellite imagery is used for this purpose and detailed information on the steps taken during the mapping process can be found on the download page of this website. (Report on the Current Status of Cities in Sri Lanka - Spatial Data Analysis Section of the Annex and Information Systems Training Manual of 2017)

The data are presented in four sections, namely, High Municipal, Semi-Municipal, Unstructured, and Water within the Municipal Boundary Area of ​​Jaffna Municipality and beyond in the years 1995, 2001, 2012 and 2017. Further information is shown below, including the number of square kilometers in the area.

Within the municipal limits, the metropolitan area has grown from 14.4% in 1995 to 18.6% in 2001, 29.8% in 2017 and 39.4% in 2017.

Concurrently, it can be concluded that the non-construction area has gradually declined from 40.9% in 1995 to 33.9% in 2001 to 16.8% in 2012 and to 3.8% in 2017.

According to the 2001 Census and Population Survey, the urban population in Jaffna is 80827. The land with construction that year was 1562 hectares. According to estimates, the population density of Jaffna town in 2012 was 51.7 people per hectare.

According to projections, the number of people living in the city of Jaffna in the year 2017 is 94,000 and the construction site for that year is 1811 hectares. According to estimates, the population density of Jaffna city in the year 2017 was 52 people per hectare. The population may be gradually increasing but there is no clear change in the population density.


Download data layer here

Urban expansion statistics
SoSLC project
Jaffna Municipal Council ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 4.8%
Urban change 1995 - 2017 5.01
TOTAL AOI 118.79
    • 1995
      • Total Municipality 19.12
      • Urban 2.76
      • Semi-Urban 8.27
      • Non-Built 7.82
      • Water 0.27
    • 2001
      • Total Municipality 19.12
      • Urban 3.56
      • Semi-Urban 8.81
      • Non-Built 6.48
      • Water 0.27
    • 2012
      • Total Municipality 19.1
      • Urban 5.7
      • Semi-Urban 9.92
      • Non-Built 3.21
      • Water 0.27
    • 2017
      • Total Municipality 19.11
      • Urban 7.53
      • Semi-Urban 10.58
      • Non-Built 0.73
      • Water 0.27
    • 1995
      • Total Fringe 99.66
      • Urban 0.27
      • Semi-Urban 27.15
      • Non-Built 50.93
      • Water 21.31
    • 2001
      • Total Fringe 99.68
      • Urban 0.35
      • Semi-Urban 31.47
      • Non-Built 46.55
      • Water 21.31
    • 2012
      • Total Fringe 99.67
      • Urban 0.64
      • Semi-Urban 38.21
      • Non-Built 39.51
      • Water 21.31
    • 2017
      • Total Fringe 99.68
      • Urban 0.98
      • Semi-Urban 40.79
      • Non-Built 36.6
      • Water 21.31