Sri Lanka Economy


An island country, Sri Lanka is located in the Indian Ocean 31 kilometers (19.3 mi) off the southern coast of India. Till 1972, it was called Ceylon and its official name the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Its strategic location makes it an important naval link between West Asia and South East Asia. Sri Lanka is a popular tourist attraction due to its landscape, beaches and tropical forests. Direct flights to Sri Lanka are available only from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The total population of the island of Sri Lanka stood at 20,238,000 as of 2009. The island has the credit of being the most literate nation amongst developing countries with 82% literacy rate.

Sri Lanka Economy: Profile

Sri Lankan economy has registered a strong growth in the first decade of 21st century, despite suffering civil war from 1983 to 2009 and some major natural disasters. The gross domestic product of the country grew at an average rate of 5% during the war period. One of the major factors behind development and economic growth is government spending. Agricultural production, tourism, textile, apparel and tea export are the biggest economic boosters. A lot of foreign exchange also comes through overseas employment especially in the Middle East.

Sri Lanka Economy: Statistics

 GDP (purchasing power parity):

 GDP (official exchange rate): $41.32 billion (2009 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:

  • 3.5% (2009 est.)

  • 6% (2008 est.)

  • 6.8% (2007 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


  • $4,500 (2009 est.)

  • $4,400 (2008 est.)

  • $4,200 (2007 est.) 

Labor force: 8.1 million 

Unemployment rate:

  • 5.9% (2009 est.)

  • 5.5% (2008 est.) 

Population below poverty line: 23% (2008 est.) 

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

  • 3.4% (2009 est.)

  • 22.6% (2008)