Geography of Sri Lanka

Location:Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Geographic coordinates:7 00 N, 81 00 E
Map references:Asia
Area:total: 65,610 sq km
land: 64,740 sq km
water: 870 sq km
Area - comparative:slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries:0 km
Coastline:1,340 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Terrain:mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Natural resources:limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Land use:arable land: 13.96%
permanent crops: 15.24%
other: 70.8% (2005)
Irrigated land:7,430 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Environment - current issues:deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo
Environment - international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes

Sri Lanka Quickstats

  • Population: 20,926,315
  • Area: 65,610 sq km
  • Density: 310 /km² (35th)
  • GDP (total): $86.72 billion (61st)
  • GDP (per capita): $4,600 (111th)
  • Literacy: 90.7%

Languages of Sri Lanka

Useful to know

  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
  • Dial code: +94

International Trade

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