Since the end of the war in 2009, the
proportion of poor people in Langes has more than
halved, from 9 percent to 4 percent in 2017. In other
social considerations such as income level, literacy,
childhood mortality and life expectancy, Sri Lanka is
well placed in a regional comparison. One problem is
that the assets are unevenly distributed.
The fact that the social conditions are relatively
good for a developing country reflects long-standing
government investment in education and health care.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Sri Lanka, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The poor are found mainly in the countryside, as well
as in the Tamil-dominated northern and eastern parts of
Sri Lanka, which were ravaged most by the civil war.
Poverty comes with malnutrition. About one in five
children weigh less than they should.
There is no comprehensive social insurance system,
but old-age pensioners and people with disabilities
receive a lump sum from the state. Social assistance can
be provided for the needy, but the amounts paid are low.
Those who have a formal employment pay for an insurance
policy that provides more benefits. Public employees are
covered by a special pension system.
Sri Lanka has a fairly effective healthcare system.
Health care is free of charge and there are relatively
many hospitals. This has resulted in relatively low
child mortality and a high life expectancy.
However, a number of problems remain. There is a
shortage of trained healthcare personnel, especially
doctors and nurses. Congestion causes infectious
diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and brain
inflammation to spread. The civil war's many thousands
injured and disabled cause an increased burden on health
The civil war between 1983 and 2009 contributed to
increased crime. Many violent men were soldiers deserted
from the army or the guerrillas.
The caste system permeates the Lankan society. Social
order and status are important. The caste system creates
a strict social ranking where everyone from birth is
considered to have a given place. In the home, the
father or the eldest man is regarded as the head. The
manager of a workplace has obvious authority, as do
older people and members of superior castes.
The caste system means that different groups of
people largely devote themselves to different
professions. Sinhalese are often government employees,
while Tamils are more engaged in trade. Among the
lower castes there are groups that traditionally devote
themselves to special crafts, such as carpet weavers or
basket makers. However, the tradition is gradually
loosened up: professions become less hereditary as more
people receive formal schooling.
In general, class - which is more determined by the
individual's financial position - has begun to play a
greater role. Class affiliation is mainly determined by
the level of language and education, assets and social
networks, rather than by an inherited role in the
A large majority of the Lankes live in the
countryside. The dwelling houses are often white
plastered and built to shut out the heat but let in air.
Kitchens and washrooms are often located on the back of
the house because it has traditionally been felt that it
is important to keep away contaminants from visitors.
Because religion has a great influence in daily life,
many Buddhists and Hindus, and even Christians, have
small altars in the home or outside in the courtyard.
The woman's position is more equal than in many of
the other countries in South Asia. Sri Lanka's women
were included in the universal suffrage that was
introduced in 1931 and the country got the world's first
female prime minister in 1960. Girls attend school as
much as boys and writing and reading skills are high
even among women. It is quite common for women to work
outside the home. The clothing industry mainly employs
women, and among the hundreds of thousands of locals
working abroad there are a large number of female maids.
Many are also teachers or nurses.
However, unofficially, women are discriminated
against both in the labor market and in the education
system. In the home, it is largely only women who cook
and care for the household. Rape and other violence
against women are a major problem. Many of the women and
girls who work as maids are treated poorly. Child
prostitution is common. Violence and sexual harassment
of women rarely lead to sentencing and punishment.
Traditionally, marriage is arranged in all ethnic
groups, although it has become more common for young
people to decide for themselves who they want to marry.
Arranged marriages usually take place between people of
the same caste and social status. After the marriage,
the woman usually moves home to the husband's family,
but without cutting the ties to her own family. It is
common to live many together. A large family can consist
of several core families with their own households. The
married age is on average around 25 years; child
marriage has never been common in Sri Lanka.
Inheritance rights should be formally equal, but
religious traditions sometimes prevail. Among Muslims,
women inherit less than men. In general, it is also
common for sons to inherit land, while daughters get any
Unlike some other countries in Asia, the ideal is to
have a mixed litter, although sons here may also be
slightly higher in course. For the first child, the
first child may prefer to be a girl, since she can be
expected to help care for little siblings. Children are
otherwise everyone's concern and are happy to be cared
for and cared for by both women and men. With increasing
age, children are given increased responsibility in the
household and are expected to learn to show respect,
modesty and self-control. When they reach school age,
children are expected to invest in their studies and it
is very common to have private lessons in addition to
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
6 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
92.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
95.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
3.0 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 153 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
6 percent (2018)