People in Sri Lanka

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Population: 20 222 240 (July 2006 est.)

note: since the outbreak of hostilities between the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid-1980s several hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island; as of late 1996 63 068 were housed in refugee camps in south India another 30 000-40 000 lived outside the Indian camps and more than 200 000 Tamils have sought political asylum in the West

Age structure:

0-14 years: 28% (male 2 673 194; female 2 556 926)

15-64 years: 66% (male 6 126 759; female 6 385 450)

65 years and over: 6% (male 579 329; female 611 900) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.78% (2006 est.)

Birth rate: 15.51 births/1 000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 6.52 deaths/1 000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.23 migrant(s)/1 000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 15.51 deaths/1 000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.41 years

male: 70.83 years

female: 76.12 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.84 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Sri Lankan(s)

adjective: Sri Lankan

Ethnic groups: Sinhalese 73.8% Indian Tamil 4.6% Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9% Moor 7.2% Burgher Malay and Vedda 1% (2001 census provisional data)

Religions: Buddhist 69.1% Muslim 7.6% Hindu 7.1% Christian 6.2% (2001 census provisional data)

Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74% Tamil (national language) 18%

note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken by about 10% of the population

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.3%

male: 94.8%

female: 90% (2003 est.)

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