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

It presents the population of the Jaffna Municipal Council and its growth rate for the next nine years starting in 2015. This indicates that there is a continuously increasing population growth rate within the municipality at that time, but that increasing growth is slow.

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

The total population of the Northern Province as per the statistics is 1.246 million. In the total 47.3% are male population and 52.7% are female population. Out of those 84.5% of the population are living in rural area and only 15.5% of the population are in urban areas. Northern province is lowest populous province in the country with 606,678 males and 639,775 females. The Population density of 136 persons per Sq. Km as against to 346 for the whole Island. The majority of the population i.e.;- 89% in the province is Sri Lankan Tamils and others of Sri Lankan Moor, Sinhalese and Indian Tamils living in the province. Most of the Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus and rest of them are followed by Christians, Muslims and Buddhists in a small number.

Migration to city limits by years of residents

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The total male resident population in the Jaffna Municipal Council area is 38,015, the total female resident population is 42,814 out of which the total male migrant population is 9,979 and the total female migrant population is 10,603. According to that the amount of female inmigrants are comparatively higher than the male inmigrants.

Download data file here

Reason for migration

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Highest number of migrants are resettled after disparagement according to the data.Employment is considered as the one of the main reason for male population migration in to the city, and the females are migrated in the city is due to marriages and also considering employments as well as accompanying with a family member.

Download data file here

Language competency

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

One distinctive feature of Sri Lankan culture is the way in which ethnicity, language and religious affiliation correlate with one another, each being key determinants of an individual’s identity. Alongside the two largest ethnic groups – Sinhalese (74.9%) and Tamil (15.4%) – the third largest ethnic group is Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%). The remaining 0.5% of Sri Lanka’s population is comprised of Burghers (mixed European descent), Parsis (immigrants from west India) and Veddas (who are identified as the indigenous inhabitants of the land). The Tamils separate further into two groups, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils. There are three official languages of Sri Lanka: Sinhala, Tamil and English. This is evident throughout the country, with most signs written in all three languages. The Sinhalese - Buddhist majority mostly speak Sinhala, while Tamil is spoken widely by Sri Lankan Moors / Muslims and ethnic Tamils / Hindus. English was introduced as a result of the British colonial rule and has become the language used in government administration and commercial activities. This graph indicates that categories of ethnic groups and their language abilities.

Download data file here

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.

Download data file here

Female Headed households and Male Headed Households with National Average

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

This describes how domestic leadership is divided into genders. Number of Male headed households are higher than the number of Female headed households in the municipal limit. There are 65,587 Women Headed Families living in the Province. This figure specified that, War Widows (7,686), widows by natural (44,176), by deserted (7,784) and other reasons (5,941). Furthermore, 19,143 persons are identified as disabled persons either physically or mentally and there are 936 children recognized as both parents lost in the Province, and 10,515 Children were lost either their father or mother. For these categories more attention has to be taken for special needy people to improve their livelihood and standard of living.

Download data file here


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.

Classification of schools

Source - Jaffna Municipal Council Statistical 2019

The Education sector takes significant role to produce the knowledge based society in Sri Lanka. The number of functional schools has been increased to 1,008 out of 1,098 to serve 252,097 students with 19,224 teachers in 2018. The Student Teacher ratio is 13 for the Province. National programmes such as 1,000 schools and 5,000 feeders primary school programme, TSEP, “Nearest School -The Best School” (NSBS) are being successfully implemented in the Province. Child friendly approach has been introduced in 500 schools. Technical Laboratory facilities have been provided to 90 schools in the Province. Infrastructure facilities are also continuously provided wherever the requirements are identified through various sources. Therefore, the adult literacy rate by 2017 was Jaffna - 96.6%, Kilinochchi - 84.3 %, Mullaitivu - 89.3 % while Mannar and Vavuniya were 94.1% & 86.0% respectively. Rate of attendance at schools has also increased to 73%. To enhance the formal education and for the learning development of students there are several programs inclusive of sports and cultural affairs, religion and value education, bilingual and trilingual education and also organized to the secondary and primary education to facilitate the higher education, tertiary and vocational educational training centers are also established in the province such as University of Jaffna, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, Open University of Sri Lanka, Vocational Training Centers, Technical College, National Colleges of Education, Teachers’ Training Schools, Technical Colleges and Advance Technical Institute.

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

It shows the computer literacy of persons between the ages of 10 and 40 in terms of gender and it explains that 34% of men and 28% of women in the Jaffna Municipal Council are computer literate.

Download data file here


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.

Length of roads according to road type

Source - Jaffna MC

As a historical port city, Jaffna MC has a well-connected road network. The A9 (Jaffna-Kandy) road is significant as a main road which connects the city with the rest of the country. Apart from that, Jaffna- Point Pedro Road, Jaffna-Kankesanturai Road and Jaffna – Pannai Kayts Road, are some other roads which enrich the connectivity of the urban area.

Length of rural roads within the boundaries of the local authority

Source - Department of Local Government (N P)

The length of rural roads maintained by local government bodies in the entire Jaffna district is reported as 3040.6km, out of which the length of rural roads within the Jaffna Municipal Council limits is 158.2km. In addition, although the A and B category roads are not shown in the chart above, the total length of A category roads in the Jaffna district is 279.62 km and the total length of B category roads is 227.49 km. For information on routes, visit the data file below.

Download data file here

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

Northern Province has a widespread transport network earlier, after the end of conflict situation in 2009 it has re-build in all ways and providing better services to passengers in all mode of transport services. The province is sound connected to other provinces and districts by road, rail and air. The main transport mode with in the province is road transport which is bus services. The road transport services are provided by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and Private Bus Owners Society and the three wheelers, hired vehicles and Motor cars are also being used for internal passenger services. 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

Accident is an undesired or unintended happening. Inevitable accident falls within the concept of fatal or an unfortunate harmful event, event without apparent cause unexpected occurring. A Motor Traffic Accident occurs on highway collision with vehicles, persons or with property. An Accidents may occur, between a vehicle and other vehicle, vehicle colliding with a person, vehicle colliding with movable or unmovable property, when a vehicle goes off the road, A person being knocked down with another person or due to natural or man made disaster. Here are the details of the fatal road accidents that have taken place within the Jaffna Police Division within the last few years. In addition, the following data file contains further details covering the entire country with an accident classification in varios sub sections.

Download data file here

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. The Sri Lanka Railways provide Train services to the passengers from Northern Province to other main railway stations. The Northern line is the longest railway line in Sri Lanka and it is 339 km length, the main line starts at Polgahawala to forward north through north western, north central and Northern Provinces before terminating at the northern port of Kankesanthurai. All railway stations in the province were re-constructed after the end of war in 2009 and providing an extensive service to passengers at present.

Railway passengers coming into/from city center

Source - Sri Lanka Railways

The Sri Lanka Railways provide Train services to the passengers from Northern Province to other main railway stations. The Northern line is the longest railway line in Sri Lanka and it is 339 km length. 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 annual revenue summary for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 presented here is taken from a report prepared by JICA, based on the budget of the Jaffna Municipal Council. Download the data file for more information.

Download data file here

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.

Number of voters and elected members

Source - Department of Local Government, NP (data extracted from statistical book 2018)

The above information is for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 and it is estimated that there will be 82897 persons in the Jaffna Municipal Council in 2018 and 91321 persons in 2017 and 91417 in 2016. Out of that total population 54592 voters and 23 elected members in 2016, in 2017 56182 voters and 45 elected members, in 2018 60361 voters and 45 elected members are there.

Download data file here

City Governance Index

Source - State of Sri Lakan cities publcation _ Urban Governanance section

To assess the capacity of provincial capital's LAs to fulfil their mandate, the SOSLC report deploys said CGI the CGI. The CGI assesses the LA's against 6 key governance sub-indices each measured through 20 indicators and 42 sub indicators (Please refer page 42 of SOSLC report). the first is financial resilience of LAs, which includes indicators on the overall Financial strength of the LA, their revenue collection capacities and resources allocation trends. The second is related to policy-making capacity, and includes the number of by-Laws promulgated by LA, resources allocated to implement Implement policies and evidence of their implementatio. The third and fourth assesses the delivery key public service, including the breadth of services,their cost, quality and coverage. The fifth assesses the accountability and Equity of LAs, including woman's representation, policies targeting vulnerable groups (poor, disabled etc.) and the transparency of LA activities. The sixth assesses political and citizen participation, including indicators on participation rates in local elections and other mechanisms in place to facilitate citizen participation. Jaffna MC has scored a high of 82.59 in the ‘Service Delivery Coverage’ and low of 20.00 in ‘Accountability and Equity’

Download data file here

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. 

Solid Waste Generation and Collection

Source - IWMI Publication - Solid and Liquid Waste Management and Resource Recovery in Sri Lanka: A 20 city analysis

Jaffna MC is providing SW collection service in such a way that it is collected daily from house to house by collection vehicles from respective collecting zones. The waste in narrow road areas where collection vehicles cannot pass is collected by handcarts. The kerbside collection system with waste bins and the stationed collection system for mixed waste also available in MC area. From large shops and large restaurants waste is collected twice per week. MC has imposed a waste tax of 230 LKR per 200 L barrel on those private entities and garden waste is collected for 575 LKR per 1 load of tractor when the residents requested (JICA, 2016). SW collected from hotel sector which is mostly the food waste, is amounted approximately as 3 tons per day. Hospitals located in the city including Jaffna teaching hospital, private hospitals such as Apolo hospital and Yaal hospital also receive the collection service from the MC.

Service Maintaned by Local Authority

Source - Department of Local Government,Nothern Province

The above data describe the services provided by the Local Authority. It further states how many centers there are for services such as markets, clinics, dispensaries, ayurvedic hospitals, fairs, commercial stalls, waste water treatment plants, cemeteries, etc. Figures for the number of such centers within the limits of the Jaffna Municipal Council in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 are given here. A significant change in those three years is that huge increase in the number of business stalls in 2018.

Download data file here

Water Supply maintained by Local Authority

Source - Department of Local Government,Nothern Province

The Jaffna Peninsula, falls within the dry zone in Sri Lanka, is underlain by Miocene limestone that is considered to have appropriate aquifer properties for groundwater storage and discharge. The absence of perennial rivers or major water supply schemes to the Peninsula highlights the importance of groundwater as the predominant water resource for domestic, industrial and agricultural use. The Jaffna Peninsula has four main aquifer systems, namely Chunnakam (Valikamam area), Thenmaratchi, Vadamaratchi and Kayts, of which the Valikamam area is intensively cultivated in the Jaffna Peninsula. Chunnakam aquifer in Valikamam area is the main limestone aquifer of Jaffna Peninsula. Groundwater is the main source of water in the Jaffna District. Most of the agriculture in the district is dependent on groundwater sources. Crops and other plantations are irrigated using agro-wells in most of the farms. After three decades of war, the population in the district is now increasing and rapid developments are also taking place. People in Jaffna are now returning to their normal lives and have commenced agricultural activities once again.

Download data file here


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.

Annual rainfall at observation station

Source - Department of Meteorology

Here is the change in the annual values of rainfall from 2008 to 2013. According to the Jaffna Observatory station, rainfall in the area is calculated separately for each month and more information can be downloaded from the following detailed statistics.

Download data file here

Annual average air temperature at observation stations

Source - Department of Meteorology

Here is the change in the annual values of air temprature from 2006 to 2013. According to the Jaffna Observatory station, air temprature in the area is calculated separately for each month and more information can be downloaded from the following detailed statistics.

Download data file here

Length of canals by its type

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 



Map of Health Institutions belonging to Jaffna Municipal Council:

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

Download Map Here                               Download Data Layer Here



Map of Public Spaces belonging to Jaffna Municipal Council:

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

 Download Map Here                              Download Data Layer Here


Map of Distribution of Grama Niladhari Divisions in Jaffna District:
The ethnic / sex / age composition in the Jaffna District, detailed for each of its 436 Grama Niladhari Divisions. (Data Source: Survey Department)

Download Map Here                       Download Data Layer Here   


Flood Northern Province Nov / Dec 2008:

WESSA or “VAE for Sri Lanka: a Satellite-based flood Analysis” supports the World Bank and Sri Lankan authorities through satellite based EO products as an input for the WB “Climate Resilient Program”. WESSA is a project of nazka mapps and RSS, carried out in the frame of VAE programme and funded by the European Space Agency. The project has facilitated by GFDRR on request of Disaster Management Centre. 4 historical flood events (May 2010, Dec 2007, Nov/Dec 2008 & May 2003)

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.


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SoSLC project
SoSLC project
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The Jaffna Municipal Council covers an area of ​​1910 hectares and 47 Grama Niladhari Divisions within its 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 Northern Province, has 4044.5 hectares of built-up land area, which covers 79.2% of the total land area. Non built-up land  (369 ha) is just 20.9%.


The built-up land has been categorized under six main categories like 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


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 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 over the past two decades. 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 level of density is classified as high density and low density areas.


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


The data is presented in four sections, namely, Urban, Semi-Urban, Non built up, and Water within the Municipal Boundary Area of ​​Jaffna Municipality and beyond in the years 1995, 2001, 2012 and 2017. Further information is shown in below charts, by the number with the extent of square kilometers.


Within the municipal limits, the urban 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 built up 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. that is because of increasing the built up lands.


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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