Sri Lanka - Urban population

The value for Urban population in Sri Lanka was 3,902,836 as of 2016. As the graph below shows, over the past 56 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 3,902,836 in 2016 and a minimum value of 1,626,012 in 1960.

Definition: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverages.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects.

See also:

Year Value
1960 1,626,012
1961 1,687,075
1962 1,749,516
1963 1,790,051
1964 1,882,621
1965 1,967,767
1966 2,058,105
1967 2,149,139
1968 2,247,541
1969 2,343,195
1970 2,441,982
1971 2,526,579
1972 2,561,268
1973 2,588,091
1974 2,607,118
1975 2,629,426
1976 2,652,868
1977 2,676,725
1978 2,704,330
1979 2,737,813
1980 2,769,339
1981 2,772,826
1982 2,817,517
1983 2,861,030
1984 2,904,515
1985 2,948,840
1986 2,993,850
1987 3,039,381
1988 3,084,639
1989 3,128,721
1990 3,170,701
1991 3,210,782
1992 3,249,125
1993 3,284,821
1994 3,316,586
1995 3,344,413
1996 3,367,393
1997 3,386,090
1998 3,402,545
1999 3,420,081
2000 3,440,542
2001 3,464,475
2002 3,488,185
2003 3,512,417
2004 3,536,798
2005 3,561,145
2006 3,585,824
2007 3,610,455
2008 3,635,429
2009 3,660,733
2010 3,686,002
2011 3,711,417
2012 3,737,162
2013 3,767,055
2014 3,805,247
2015 3,848,519
2016 3,902,836

Development Relevance: Explosive growth of cities globally signifies the demographic transition from rural to urban, and is associated with shifts from an agriculture-based economy to mass industry, technology, and service. In principle, cities offer a more favorable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities generate jobs and income, and deliver education, health care and other services. Cities also present opportunities for social mobilization and women's empowerment.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. The indicator is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual

Classification

Topic: Environment Indicators

Sub-Topic: Density & urbanization