Sri Lanka’s North population shrinks, East expands

June 27, 2012 (LBO) – Population in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna area has shrunk during a 30-year civil war but parts of the former war zone which was not fully under control of separatists had seen above average growth, new census data shows. The first census conducted in the area since 1981, has shown that the population of the Jaffna district, where ethnic Tamils form the majority had contracted at a rate of 0.74 percent to 583,017 from 734,474.

Sri Lanka’s population grew at an average rate of 1.0 percent from 1981 to 2012 with the total reaching 20.277 million by from 14.846 million.

Mannar, also in the northwest saw its population shrink 0.2 percent to 99,063.

“It is evident that out-migration of those who have been displaced due to the conflict situation in those districts have been the reason for the observed reduction in population in those districts,” the Census department said in a preliminary report.

Mullaitivu where the final battles with Tamil Tiger separatists had taken place had seen growth of 0.7 percent to 92,228.

Kilinochchi which served as the stronghold of Tamil Tigers for many years after they were driven out of Jaffna, taking part of the population with them, had also seen an increase.