371055 ha
16.25 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

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Out of the total population of Western province, 2,848,649 (or 48.7%) are males and 3,002,481 (or 51.3%) are females. 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 Colombo district sex ratio (96) is higher than that of Gampaha and Kalutara districts (94).

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Population according to census year

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Population distribution: 28.7% (or 5,851,130) of Sri Lankan population lived in Western province. Out of the total population of the province, 2,324,349 (39.7%) belongs to Colombo district. Gampaha district and Kalutara district population are 2,304,833 (39.4%) and 1,221,948 (20.9%) repectively. Population density (or number of persons per square km) of the province is 1,588. Population density of Colombo district (3,325) is almost twice than that of Gampaha district (1,662) and Kalutara district has the lowest population density(765).

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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 by sector, province and Survey year (during 1st six months)

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

If a desktop or laptop is available at a household then that household is considered as a computer owned household.The percentage distribution of computer owned households by Sector and Province. In 2019, at least one computer is available in 22.2 percent of households in the country. That is about one out of every five households owns either a desktop or a laptop computer. This percentage is 38.3 in Urban sector and Rural and Estate sector show 19.9 percent and 3.8 percent respectively. When the provinces are considered the highest availability is in the Western province (34.7%) while the lowest availability is reported from the Uva (12.9%). Percentage of availability of desktop or laptop computer at a household vary between 22% - 24% between 2017 to 2019 period.

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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.

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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. 

Percentage of Economically inactive population (aged 15 years and above) by sex

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Students, those who are engaged in household work, income recipient/ pensioners, unable to work, unpaid social worker, children not attending school and other non-economic activities are considered as economically inactive population. According to Census 2012, economically inactive population in Western province is reported as 48.3 percent. The corresponding figure for males and females reported as 12.4 percent and 35.9 percent respectively. The percentages of economically inactive population (aged 15 years and above) by sex. Data shows that the percentage of economically inactive population out of total 15 years and over population in Kalutara district (49.0%) is higher than the corresponding figure for Gampaha (48.3%) and Colombo (47.9%) districts.

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Employment, Estimated income and estimated labor productivity by industrial sector

Source - SOSLC Project

The provincial level employment data is classified by industry sector. Since, Provincial level output data is not available, it was estimated using the national level productivity rates of each industry sector. The analysis reveals that Sri Lanka's commercial capital, the western province has the highest share of employment recorded in the manufacturing non apparel sector.

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. Western province is the largest contributes to national GDP according to statistics department of central bank . Smallest contribution is from Agriculture sector and lowest amount of contribution is from Western province (2%)

Yearly Approved Number of Project by provincial level

Source - By Department of Local Government (W.P)

Colombo - Rs 760,334,361.22 Gampaha - Rs 325,850,0333.66 Kalutara - Rs 112,727,767.33

Capital Expenditure Provision (Summary)

Source - Department of Local Government

Provision of Capital Expenditure for the Department of Local Government of Western Province for 2013 has been divided into three main categories - Provincial Specific, Provincial Development Chief and Criteria Based.

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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.

Local Authorities in Western Province


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

Western province is located in the wet zone of the country and more rains are occurring in southwest monsoon period in the area. Considering the flood records in past few years, 2012 is the only year where there is no recorded flood situation according to DMC. As it is clear in the graph here, in 2016, the number of days rained is very low but the rainfall intensity is high. This situation is tallying with the recorded high flood situation in Colombo in 2016. The graph also visualize a five year gap in between similar situations.

Thematic maps

1. Western Province Boundary:

Western Province covers an area of 6031000 hectares. (Data Source _ Survey Department)       

Download Data Layer Here


2. Districts in Western Province with Local Authority Boundary:
Western Province included 49 local authorities. (Colombo 13, Gampaha 17 and Kaluthara19) (Data Source _ Urban Development Authority)

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3. Western Province Local Authority Boundaries:
Western Province included 49 local authorities. (Colombo 13 ,Gampaha17 and Kaluthara 19). one by one it has mentioned locations of all 49 Local authorities (Data Source _ Urban Development Authority)
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4. Flood Attanagalu Oya: Flood inundation area mapping was conducted by Department of Irrigation by field data capturing method. No return period is available. No details on data captured is recorded. (Data Source _ Irrigation Department)

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5. Helipads in Western Province:

It contains information about all the helipads belonging to Sri Lanka with name and their exact location is further indicated using latitude and longitude and can be obtained by downloading the spatial data available here.(Data Source_Riskinfo)

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