To download the applications related to Anuradhapura Municipal Council - Visit the official website of the Municipal Council HERE

5,140.3 ha
25 persons / ha

A city is a large human settlement. People are the main driving force in a city. The dynamism of a city is dependent  on people and their behaviour. A preliminary understanding of the composition and diverse capabilities of the populations in a city should be the key to a successful urban study.

This section provides a description of the demographic status and trends in the city, primarily based on 2012 census data, presenting an overall view of the population. Trends and patterns of urban population are discussed including  aspects of demography such as age, sex, ethnicity, education levels; and overall observations with regard to migration patterns, suburban population and gender.

Understanding the demographic and composition patterns of the population within the existing physical boundary will help in planning a livable  city.



Population Growth rate

Source - Department of Census and Statistics /SoSLC

When attention is paid to the population of the city, according to the reports of the census and statistics department, the total population of Anuradhapura district in 2011 is 856, 004 and 6% of it belongs to the urban population of Anuradhapura. When both years of 2001 and 2012 are compared according to its population, it can be observed that there is a gradual declination of the population of the urban area. The urban population in 2001 was 56,632. This has gradually declined to 52703 in 2012 and 66000 in 2017. According to the statistical calculations, it is clear that the population growth rate has taken a low value. Highest population density reports in stage iii (part 1) GN division and stage iii (part 2) GN division and lowest population density reports in Thisawewa GN division

Gender distribution by age

Source - Department of Census and Statistics, 2012

Gender differences in the demography of Anuradhapura MC is seen in all the major cities in Sri Lanka with a higher number of women than men. In Anuradhapura there are 97.8 men per 100 females, i.e. 50.56% are female, which was above the national average of 94 men for every 100 women in 2012. In Anuradhapura, the working-age group, i.e. 30 to 59 years saw more men than women, but in all other age groups, there are more females than men. Of the 50.56% (25,580 females), 22.23% fall under the age of under 15, 25.19% between the age of 15 to 29, the bulk of 41.3% for those aged 30-59, and 11.21% over 60 years. As with other cities, the female elderly population is significantly higher than their male counterparts, and of the total male and female populations in 2012, the male and female elderly proportions were reported to be 10.11 and 11.21 percent, respectively, which results from the higher life expectancy of women. The high proportion of elderly women in the MCs poses questions about how their wellbeing can be secured and will be a growing policy concern for many cities.

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Composition of the Ethnic Profile - by Urban Area, District, and Province

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The total population of the North Central Province as per the statistics is 1.267 million, with 620,880 males (49.02%) and 6345,783 females (50.98%). The population density is 1.28 persons per hectare, much lower than the island average. The majority in the province live in areas classified as rural (roughly 94%), and only a small percentage of the population lives in areas classified as urban. The majority of the population i.e. 91% in the province are Sinhalese, about 8% Muslim, with less than 1 percent Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamils of Indian origin, and others living in the province. Most of the Sinhalese living in this area are Buddhists, with Muslims following Islam forming the next largest religious group. Other religious persuasions in the province are Christians and a small number of Hindus. This graph shows how the city compares in ethnic composition to the district and the province. While usually cities show a more cosmopolitan nature than the province, in the case of Anuradhapura, as with Jaffna, this is not so. The Anuradhapura city reflects the composition of the district and the provincial percentages. The reason for this probably being that Anuradhapura is seen as a sacred city to the Buddhists and continues to be historically determined and such tends to remain largely Buddhist (who are Sinhalese).

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Migrant population in city limits by years of residence

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Internal migration has always been one of the forces driving the growth of urbanization and bringing opportunities and challenges to cities, migrants and governments. Increasingly, municipal authorities are becoming recognized as key actors in managing migration and have started including migration in their urban planning and implementation. Thus, for cities to better manage migration, data on migration and urbanization are essential. The total male resident population in the Anuradhapura Municipal Council area is 25,015, the total female resident population is 25,580 out of which the total male migrant population is 8,134 and the total female migrant population is 8,181, showing a slightly higher percentage of female immigrants. The majority of this migrant population has resided in the city for more than 10 years, thus more like first-generation citizens rather than migrants.

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Reason for migration

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The shifting of rural populations to urban areas is mainly due to urban biases in terms of development and economic opportunities. It has been observed in developing economies that urban residents have a better standard of living, level of nutrition, and provision of services than rural dwellers. In Anuradhapura, MC employment is considered as the main reason for the migration of males into the city, while migration of the females into the city is for marriage purposes mainly and then employment, as well as accompanying a family member.

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Sex Ratio (Female per every 100 Males) by age group

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The sex ratio is calculated using the percentage proportion of males relative to females in a population. In 2020, male to female ratio for Sri Lanka was 92.12 males per 100 females. The male-to-female ratio of Sri Lanka has fallen considerably over the past 70 years - falling from 119.5 males per 100 females in 1950 to 92.12 males per 100 females in 2020. The above chart is based on the last census data in 2012. For the Anuradhapura MC, this graph indicates that there are more females than males in all age groups, except in the 30 to 59 category.

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Female-Headed households and Male-Headed Households with National Average

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

This describes how domestic leadership is divided into genders. Number of Male headed households are higher than the number of Female headed households in the municipal limit. When comparing the spread of the housing units of the area in 2001, 2011 and 2017, Housing units in 2001, 2011 and 2017 are 14868, 12401 and 12103 respectively and it is clear that this amount has gradually decreased with the population growth rate being minus.

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Language competency

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

One distinctive feature of Sri Lankan culture is how ethnicity, language, and religious affiliation correlate with one another, each being key determinants of an individual’s identity. Alongside the two largest ethnic groups – Sinhalese (74.9%) and Tamil (15.4%) – the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%). The remaining 0.5% of Sri Lanka’s population is comprised of Burghers (mixed European descent), small ethnolinguistic groups of immigrants from different parts of India (e.g. Parsis), and Veddas (who are identified as the indigenous inhabitants of the land). The Tamils separate further into two groups, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils. There are three official languages of Sri Lanka: Sinhala, Tamil, and English. This is evident throughout the country, with most signs written in all three languages. The Sinhalese - Buddhist majority mostly speak Sinhala, with many Christians as well; while Tamil is spoken widely by Sri Lankan Moors / Muslims in addition to the ethnic Tamils / Hindus. English was introduced as a result of the British colonial rule and has become the language used predominantly in commercial activities and used also in government administration. This graph indicates the categories of ethnic groups in Anuradhapura MC and their language abilities.

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Education has always been a significant element in societal development. The development of education facilities contributes substantially to the development in an urban area.

As a developing country it is crucial to address poverty in order to attain the development goals. Education plays a major role in poverty reduction. Presently, several global cities have been implementing the concept of smart city to improve the quality of life of the society, including in the field of education.

Good educational institutions and coverage enables a population to have decent livelihoods be they self employed or part of the workforce. Understanding how a city provides primary, secondary and tertiary eductional as well as skill development through vocational centres could provide some pointers to how well a city is doing or where it needs to develop further.

Students Teachers Ratio

Source - Anuradhapura Development Plan by UDA

A considerable number of government schools are located in this area. In 2017, the total number of students and teachers was 28,008 and 1,225 respectively, with the teachers' student ratio being high at 1:23. National schools such as Anuradhapura Central College, Surnapali Balika Maha Vidyalaya, and Zahira Muslim Maha Vidyalaya are located in this area, and in addition to these national schools, several private schools such as Riyansiperera, School of Special Education, Lyceum International, Ceylinco College, Cambridge College, Rahula College are also available. In addition to the school education, higher and vocational education institutions such as Bhikshu University, Open University, Hotel school, Vocational Training Authority, Industrial College, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Technical University, Youth Services Council, Educational Centers are located in the area.

Category of Educational attainment by Gender( aged 3 - 24 years )

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Almost 25% of people in the aged group 3-24 not attending to any type of education in Anuradhapura MC

Highest Level of Education achieved by Gender

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

As globalization and technology continue to re-shape the needs of labor markets worldwide, the demand for individuals with a broader knowledge base and more specialized skills continues to rise. This graph reflects those with tertiary education (the highest level of education) by age group. This includes both theoretical programs leading to advanced research or high-skill professions such as medicine and more vocational programs leading to the labor market. The measure is the percentage of the same age population, also available by gender. As a whole, the level of education in Anuradhapura city is at a satisfactory level, where, majority of the female students have received up to GCE AL schooling. In the category of having completed a degree or further education qualification, a higher number of males are recorded.

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Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The birth of the Information Age which is also known as the Computer Age is associated with the Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution marked the birth of the Industrial Age. The rapid developments in ICT have greatly contributed to enhancing human living standards worldwide. The advanced capability of this technology can facilitate extremely efficient collaboration and access to correct, consistent, and effective information. In the developed world, most of the key economically effective environments are increasingly ICT dominant. This graph looks at the computer literacy of the persons between the ages of 10 and 40 in terms of gendering the city. 63% of men and 43% of women in the Anuradhapura Municipal Council are computer literate. Definition for Computer literacy: A person (aged 5-69) is considered a computer literate person if he/she can use a computer on his/her own. For example, even if a 5 years old child can play a computer game then he/she is considered as a computer literate person. Definition for computer literacy rate: Computer Literate population expressed as a percentage to the total population, (aged 5 – 69 years) within the respective domain.

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Connectivity is central to key GoSL strategic aims: to promote economic growth, and to rebalance growth across the country’s 9 provinces. Higher the connectivity to any city, better is the urban growth in that city. 

Detailed information on key transport aspects including bus and rail transport, freight route maps, airports and logistic systems are aspects that should be considered for a city to be properly interconnected within the bigger system. One of the SDG targets 11.2 is about access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, road safety, public transport, and if we are to move towards being sustainble, these need to be considered in tranpsort planning. Further, the needs of people in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons should also be considered.

ICT coverage is another way of being connected and recent technological advances enable a city to be better connected through its access to ICTs as well.

Roads in Local Authority area by Category

Source - UDA, Anuradhapura Development Plan

The existing road network of the area shows a well-connected road network. The total length of the roads maintained by the Road Development Authority is 45 km and the length of the road maintained by the Municipal Council is 231 km, with remaining roads maintained by the Provincial Road Development Authority. The road density of the Anuradhapura Municipal Council is 16.9 km per square km. This is in comparison to the Colombo Municipal Council - 27.2 km per sq km; Galle Municipal Council - 19.3km per sq km; and Kurunegala Municipal Council - 09.3 km per sq km. According to these figures, the road density in the Anuradhapura Municipal Council in relation to its population density shows that the people are able to travel within and across the city without much congestion. This is also a development potential for the Anuradhapura city.

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)

Source - Sri Lanka Police Department

Road traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death in Sri Lanka, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Rapid growth in vehicle ownership, diversity of motorized and non-motorized traffic of varying sizes and speeds without protection for the vulnerable have been identified as causal factors for recording the highest per capita road fatality rates in South Asia. National figures of road fatalities per 100,000 people were 17.4 in 2018 (WBG, 2020). With over half of the road fatalities identified as drivers and passengers of motorized two and three-wheeled vehicles and close to a third (29%) as pedestrians (WHO, 2018). The aim of monitoring road accidents is to aim for a downward trend in accidents over the years. Here are the details of the fatal road accidents that have taken place within the Anuradhapura Police Division within the last few years. Figures for the Anuradhapura police division area are quite high, and city comparison figures show that the figure is higher here than for many other capital cities. It must be understood that the figures for urbanized areas will be higher than the rest of the district/province, but this high figure is also due to main roads with high-speed traffic passing through the city limits. The attached data file contains further details covering the entire country with an accident classification for various sub-sections.

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Pedestrian’s movement

Source - The pedestrian survey conducted by the SOSLC project

Pedestrians are an important demographic in the transport aspects of the city. The Central Business District (CBD) or the downtown of a city tends to see more pedestrians than other parts, as every person going to the city by bus, train, or private transport ultimately becomes a person on foot. 
This data set reflects data from a survey carried out by the SoSLC project in 2017 on pedestrian movement, and the analysis of this is reflected in the SoSLC Report 2018. The latitude and longitude locations of the given values of a point I (8.323052,80.402961), Point II (8.321867,80.401913), and Point III (8.341862,80.411690) can be obtained by downloading the data file and further that it contains more information about the direction of the pedestrian walks. The date the survey was conducted on was 18/12/2017.

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The modal share of vehicles entering in Municipal Council from 06 am to 06 pm (Percent)

Source - Vehicle Counting survey for Anuradhapura conducted by SOSLC project

This chart shows the summary of the vehicle survey conducted in 2017 (on 12/18/2017) at several points within the city limits of Anuradhapura, i.e. Anuradhapura Junction (Jaffna), Pandulagama, Anuradhapura Junction (Trincomalee), 2nd Mile Post, and Shop 50. The survey calculated data according to different vehicle types for time intervals of 15 minutes from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm. In the above chart, data for every hour is represented, and the highest percentage of vehicles entering into the Anuradhapura MC area between 6 am to 6 pm were private vehicles such as motorcycles and car/van/jeeps totaling around 85% of the modal share. Route buses only represent 2% out of the total share of vehicles. However, they carry a large number of persons (as other data will show). 

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Number of Vehicles and Passengers by Mode - One Way, 24 Hours

Source - SOSLC Project

The route buses are the dominant type of vehicle in the area which tolerate the majority of the passengers. Motor cycles are also used in a considerable level.

Hourly traffic flow (in the day time)

Source - Vehicle Counting survey for Anuradhapura conducted by SOSLC project

Between 7 am to 8 am is the busiest traffic period in the Anuradhapura MC area with a peak reached at 8 am due to school and work commuting traffic. According to the traffic survey conducted by Urban Development Authority in 2016, it is reported that the population who arrives at the city from external areas for various requirements is 160,000. According to the survey reports of the traffic branch of police of Anuradhapura, it is further revealed that this amount of population in every year increases up to 11 lacks during the period of Wesak, Poson and Esala festivals and especial massiveness such as Pichchamal Pujawa and Kapruk Pujawa.

Number of railway passengers annually

Source - Sri Lanka Railways

A large number of commuters arrive daily at the city through the six main entrances for fulfilling various official and personal requirements as it is the main administrative center of the province and as a major town in the district, while also a religious and heritage city. The data records an increase in annual railway passengers from 2014 to 2016. The city of Anuradhapura is well connected with other cities through the transport system, which is one of its key development potentials. The well-connected road system, as well as the railway transport system with other cities, have ensured the functionality of the city, and therefore, the ability to quickly arrive at the city and ability to easily return to origin after fulfilling the various service requirements of commuters is a strength. Anuradhapura is well connected to cities such as Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kurunegala, and Kandy.

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Railway passengers coming into/from city center

Source - Sri Lanka Railways

Number of passengers from Colombo area and Northern line are the majority.


Cities are the primary drivers of economic development, therefore, Sri Lanka’s cities have a decisive role to play in driving the economy forward by catalysing high value-added economic activities, as the country strives to achieve upper middle-income country status.

According the latest Word Cities report, 80 per cent of global GDP is created by cities, despite their accounting for less than 60 per cent of the world’s population (UN-Habitat, 2016).

The Government of Sri Lanka recognizes the role of urban economy in shaping the future of the country. In this respect, Vision 2025 and Public Investment Programme (PIP) 2017-2020 lays out the urban policy priority actions: to promote western region as economic hub of the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, and to promote strategic city development to secondary urban spaces as provincial economic hubs. 

It is also interesting to see how competitive a city is, taking into account current and potential roles of governments, businesses and the private sector in the economic development of the city and urban settlements, best use of human capital,  and labour force participation, and existing skills and the job market etc. within demarcated territory. 

Budgeted and Actual Revenue and expenditure

Arrival of foreign tourists

Source - Tourism Development Authority Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura is a prominent capital city of an ancient kingdom, and famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient civilization. A world heritage site, it was once the centre of Theravada Buddhism. Thus, cultural tourism is very high, and is one of the places that is on the ‘must-see list’ of foreign tourism in addition to Sri Lanka’s beaches and hill plantations. 

In the year 2016, 77,703 foreigners have arrived in the Anuradhapura city and given the past trend over a few post-conflict years, it is forecasted that there would be about 105,000 arrivals in Anuradhapura by 2030. Achievement of this estimate by the Tourist Development Authority has been set as an objective of the UDA Development Plan for this area. 

Given the above factors the city can tap this potential if it also develops the physical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the city. Several plans and projects are afoot, and it is hoped the city will be able to capitalise on this, while preserving its amazing cultural heritage.

Income from Tourist to the City

Source - Tourist Development Authority Sri Lanka

Compared to 2008, direct income from the tourist industry has grown several-fold over 10 years. A large number of local tourists come for religious and cultural reasons as many places and shrines sacred to Buddhists are located here. As mentioned above, Anuradhapura is also the capital city of an ancient kingdom, and cultural tourism is also very high, from local tourists in addition to the foreign arrivals mentioned above. The income from these tourists/pilgrims contributes significantly to the city’s economy, which can be further enhanced if planned for. The years when the conflict was at its highest saw hardly any travel, but since 2011 there has been a steady increase as the chart here reflects. The crowd which comes for the religious festivals can be approximately as follows: 0.8mn persons for Wesak, 0.3 mn for Poson, 0.15 mn for Esala, 0.5 for pichchamal puujawa, and 0.3 mn for dahaspethiyamal puujawa. Further, the city needs to pay attention to providing facilities for these surge months, especially water and sanitation services, for this incoming flux of people.

Estimated City Competitiveness Index (CCI)

Source - State of Sri Lankan cities publication _ The Economy section

Competitive cities can attract flows of investment and trade, desirable from an economic development perspective. There are various tools to measure city competitiveness, incorporating indicators ranging from the business environment to human capital availability to transport infrastructure, which is tailored to the specific context in which they are implemented. The tool used here for the SoSLC Report 2018, draws on the Cities Competitiveness Index (CCI) utilized in the Philippine Cities Competitiveness study developed by the Asian Institute of Management; as like Sri Lanka, the Philippines is also a rapidly urbanizing middle-income country, with similar per capita GDP. The assessment involves a primarily qualitative analysis, using secondary information and key informant interviews carried out in all 9 Provincial Capitals with the industry experts, representatives of each city's Chamber of Commerce, officials of the Urban Development Authority, and Municipal officials. The CCI includes 28 primary indicators and 70 secondary competitiveness attributes associated with 6 key drivers. The objective of estimating the competitiveness of Sri Lankan cities concerning these drivers is to enable the preparation and implementation of plans, actions, and initiatives that help to support local economic development. Anuradhapura ranks 5th amongst the nine provincial capitals, with scores comparable with the national average, for most of the indicators. It doesn't fare well though on Dynamics of the local economy and the Human Resources & training.

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Estimated Gross domestic product per capita

Source - Central Bank Annual report_Exacted and analyzed by SOSLC project

GDP per capita is an important indicator of economic performance and a useful unit to make cross-city comparisons of average living standards and economic well-being. The graph provides evidence of a gradual rise in estimated GDP per capita in Anuradhapura MC. Before 1950, Anuradhapura had a primary sector-based strong economy, but now, the contribution of the tertiary sector has been higher than the primary sector. The main administrative center of the province is situated in the Anuradhapura city, therefore people come into the city to attend to their administrative, health service, educational affairs, and trade matters. Based on these reasons, there is high growth in the tertiary sector. According to the records of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the revenue from foreign tourists has helped uplift the economy of Anuradhapura and this situation also has led to growth in the service sector.

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Urban Governance

Urban governance can be simplified as “how government (local, regional and national) and stakeholders decide on planning, financing and managing urban areas”. It involves a continuous process of negotiation and contestation over allocation of social and material resources and political power.

This section provide a snapshot of the emergent contours of urban governance in Sri Lanka, focusing on financial resilience, service provision and economic dynamism.

Information available here are collected and calculated considering secondary data sets, ground level surveys as well as stakeholder discussions. The city governance index has taken many a factor into consideration and provides a valuable way of assessing our cities and how they rank from a governance perspective.

Workers related to road sector

Source - Anuradhapura Municipal Council

There are permanent and casual workers in the road sector. in year 2018, the majority of them are permanent workers.

Workers related to Sanitation sector

Source - Anuradhapura Municipal Council

The majority of the available sanitation-related workers are permanent in the year 2018. the workers are responsible for all the cleaning and maintaining sanitation-related services. The permanent as well as casual workers are supporting the services to be maintained at an efficient level.

Human resources of Local Authority

Distribution of Local Authorities (by Province)

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

In Sri Lanka the LAs are divided into three types according to its population and size: Municipal Councils (MC, 23) which corresponds to the city, Urban Councils (UC, 41) which corresponds to the town, and Pradeshiya Sabha (PS, 271) which corresponds to the village. They are responsible for providing a variety of local public services including roads, sanitation, drains, waste collection, housing, libraries, public parks and recreational facilities. This pie chart shows the distribution of LAs by province in particular local authority belongs. North Central province include 2 MC’s and 25 PS’s. Anuradhapura is the provincial capital city of North Central province.

City Governance Index

Source - State of Sri Lakan Cities Report 2018 - Urban Governanance section

To assess the capacity of provincial capital cities to fulfill their mandate, the SOSLC Report 2018 deployed the City Governance Index. The CGI assesses these LA's against 6 key governance sub-indices each measured through 20 indicators and 42 sub-indicators (Refer p. 42 of SOSLC 2018 report). The first is the financial resilience of LAs, which includes indicators on the overall financial strength of the LA, their revenue collection capacities, and resource allocation trends. The second is related to policy-making capacity and includes the number of by-Laws promulgated by LA, resources allocated to implement Implement policies, and evidence of their implementation. The third and fourth assesses the delivery of key public services, including the breadth of services, their cost, quality, and coverage. The fifth assess the accountability and Equity of LAs, including women's representation, policies targeting vulnerable groups (poor, disabled, etc.), and the transparency of LA activities. The sixth assesses political and citizen participation, including indicators on participation rates in local elections and other mechanisms in place to facilitate citizen participation. (SoSLC, 2018)

Anuradhapura is ranked 5th in the City Governance Index (CGI) amongst all the provincial capitals in Sri Lanka. The CGI index of the city is 40.96 out of 100. Anuradhapura scored very low in terms of financial resilience, service delivery, and financial effectivity, as well as policy enablers, but did exceedingly well on participation and service delivery coverage.

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Number of pensioners

Source - Divisional secretary's office

All the information at the level of Divisional Secretariats belonging to Anuradhapura District can be downloaded from the following data files and only the data belonging to Nuwaragam Province Central Area is represented in above graph.


An important function of Sri Lanka’s cities is to provide housing for the diversity of residents that support urban life. Sri Lankan early urban settlement legacy – histories, patterns, trends including land use and housing and the development challenges that come along with it have shaped the nature of our cities.

The share of housing as a proportion of built-up area across the different cities was considered, and numerous factors affect the figure. e.g. Anuradhapura, has restrictions on residential developments because of its cultural, historical and touristic importance, other MCs include significant social and economic land use, operating as a hub to surrounding suburbs and rural areas with large residential populations.

Housing policy challenges that are encountered by the city administrators relate to tenure systems, the supply of affordable, high quality housing, and difficulties accessing housing finance. 

Types of housing unit

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph indicates the typology of housing in the Anuradhapura MC Area. The majority of housing (around 96 per cent) comprises single story and two story houses.

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Types of housing

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph indicate that in Anuradhapura municipal council almost 90.5 per cent of the houses were permanent in 2012.

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Municipal Services

Municipal services is one of the key tasks an urban centre carries out fto ensure a functional living condition for its citizens.

The access to municipal services and the quality of their provision strongly influence the social, economic and environmental performance of a city as well as urban development.

Urban centres provide key services that underpin Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development. Cities provide key government administration functions, such as vehicle registration services, access to social protection schemes, and a range of additional services (explored in detail in Chapter 9, urban governance in the SoSLC Report). Urban centres provide residents with health and education services: providing equitable access to quality healthcare and education. They also include services to facilitate social recreational activities and promote community cohesion, such as libraries, community centres and sports facilities. Ensuring quality services is a crucial component in securing an urban future for all Sri Lankans. 

Availability of Services
Availability of Road Inventory
Availability of Asset register
An online system is available for citizen to request services
A "reference no" is issued to the citizen requesting services
A "Front Office" is available
All the services can be accessed at a single location (Front Office) by a visiting citizen
Separate Male/Female toilets are available for the visiting citizen

Source - Anuradhapura Municipal Council

This data represent the 2018 records. Services delivered to the citizens by the local authority is very important to measure the functionalities and capacities of the local authority.

Heavy vehicles and equipment owned by local authority

Source - Anuradhapura Municipal Council

Uplifting the people’s living standards is a prominent task as well as a requirement of any country. Sri Lanka also attempts to acquire a higher level of living standard of people in the field of economic, social, and cultural development. In the process, it is a preeminent contribution in minimizing regional disparities, contributing to national economic development, and strengthening the democratic process that has been shown by the Provincial Councils and the Local Government system in the country. Local Government ministry has provided allocation for the strengthening of low-income generated Local Authorities to improve infrastructure facilities and furnish essential machines and equipment. Especially, more allocations have been provided for selected local authorities, which are facing many difficulties in carrying out day-to-day maintenances due to insufficient income levels.

Number of training for Capacity Development

Source - Anuradhapura Municipal Council

Providing trainings to the staff will increase the capacities of the officers in managing and decision making. This data explained on provided trainings and the number of officers trained.

Regulatory Services (Applications average per month)

Source - Anuradhapura Municipal Council

The Municipal council receive different types of applications. Considering the monthly average of the received applications, the highest amount of applications are received to obtain non vesting certificate. minimum number of applications are received for Environmental protection license.

Solid Waste Generation and Collection

Source - IWMI Publication - Solid and Liquid Waste Management and Resource Recovery in Sri Lanka: A 20 city analysis

The Anuradhapura MC typically collects about 31 MT of solid waste in a day (UDA, 2018). Of this, 54% is a short-term biodegradable waste. In principle, municipal solid waste (MSW) collection service is provided by the MC in the city center areas (covering commercial entities) daily and in residential areas with varying frequency, but at least twice a week. During festival seasons, thousands of people visit or reside in the city creating enormous pressure on public services and the MC increases the times waste collection is carried out in those areas as and when necessary. Consequently, MSW collection during peak season increases by 50%.
Some peri-urban areas however are not provided with the waste collection service. Nevertheless, most of the residents in these areas have their own sizable land plots enabling them to manage the waste within their own premises.
In 2017 the solid waste collected per day was about 20 metric tons in the Anuradhapura town; collection and disposal by the Anuradhapura Municipal Council daily were according to schedule.
Even though there is no sewage system to cover the entire town of Anuradhapura, a small-scale sewage system has been established to cover the Anuradhapura New Bus stand and its commercial area.

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Facilities available for the Solid Waste Management

Source - IWMI Publication - Solid and Liquid Waste Management and Resource Recovery in Sri Lanka: A 20 city analysis

Among the 152 workers are 12 Drivers, 87 Labourers, and 53 casual laborers. The machinery owned by the MC are one compactor, one tipper truck, 2 hand tractors, and 12 tractors.

MC has imposed a tax system on commercial and industrial units in the MC area for solid waste collection About 70 institutions in the city have been registered under this system. Consequently, it is expected that the revenue from waste collection to be increased from 1.4 million LKR (in the year 2013) to 5 million LKR per year. Anuradhapura MC maintains a compost plant through which about 26% of the waste (8 MT/day) is treated. The waste collected is in mixed nature, therefore only 2% (0.7 MT/day) is recovered as recyclables and the balance 72% (22 MT/day) is openly dumped. The dumping site is located adjacent to the compost plant located at Keerikkulama in Nuwaragampalatha. The suitability of this disposal site is questionable as it is located within the catchment area of Nuwarawewa reservoir and also the site is not an engineered landfill. Previously, the dumpsite has been used for the disposal of septage as well. With the aim of minimizing the amount of indiscriminate dumping of waste, the MC is aiming at improving composting and recycling practices within the city. In view of that, MC is planning to improve the infrastructure of the compost plant, adopt compost marketing strategies and promote home composting. MC has identified the potential in increasing the recycling of the inorganic fraction from the waste and planning to increase the recycling capacities of the existing facility in the near future.


Download data file here

Solid waste collection and disposal (Per day)

Source - JICA

Almost 53 per cent households were not covered for garbage collection, consequences of this, households burning, burying or open dumping their garbage.


Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Anuradhapura MC Area has extremely high coverage of electricity and water services with 97 per cent and 99 per cent having access to safe drinking water and electricity respectively.


A city needs to have an environment that is habitable and conducive with appropriate spaces for people who use the city, while also being resilient in the face of increasing climate risk.

Aspects such as a cities’ air and water quality, quality of the built environment as well as the aesthetic and historic aspects in the city are things we need to look at. However, in the light of increasing disaster risk, managing climate change impact in the light of current urbanisation patterns becomes a key concern, and thus land use planning in a city needs to take this into account.

SDG targets 11.4 (safeguarding cultural and natural heritage) and 11.5 (reducing impacts of disasters, especially floods), 11.6 (air quality and waste) and  11.7 (safe, open and green spaces for all groups) all emphasize that for a city to be sustainable, these aspects need to be considered.

Flood Data

Source - Disaster Management Center

As a city located in dry zone of the country, flood is not a frequent experience in the city limits. Only 2012 records a flood event which effect on 34 people. Considering the Anuradhapura district, there are flood records in year 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 2014 flood record indicate effect on 22818 people, as a significant event and there are 2 death records due to flood in 2016.

Annual rainfall at observation station

Source - Department of Meteorology

The annual average rainfall is about 1000 ml to 1500 ml and the maximum monthly average rainfall occurs during the period of September to December, i.e. the North-East monsoons, according to the Anuradhapura Observatory station. Rainfall in the area is calculated separately for each month and more information can be downloaded from the following detailed statistics.

As a whole, although Anuradhapura exhibits a dry spell for a period of about 9 months, there are many tanks or ‘wewas’ that have been built to store rainwater during the ancient kingdoms, which provides water during the dry spell. The Nuwara Wewa, Basawakkulama Wewa, Tissa Wewa, Kumbichchankulama tank, and several other small tanks such as Ponnaramkulama, Aththikulama, Wanniyankulama are situated in this area to store the water received during the Monsoon period (UDA Development Plan 2019-2030).


Download data file here

Annual average air temperature at observation stations

Source - Department of Meteorology

Anuradhapura exhibits the characteristics of the dry zone and torrid zone. The annual values of air temperature from 2006 to 2013 presented here show that the fluctuations are within 28 degrees Celcius, although within the year the fluctuation can be quite significant. The Anuradhapura Observatory station collects & calculates air temperature in the area for each month. More information can be downloaded from the following detailed statistics.

Download data file here

Climate risk exposure (1974-2017)

Source - Disaster Management Center

Millions of urban residents have been affected by flooding, landslides, droughts, and cyclones; hundreds have perished, cumulatively over the past 35 years, as data from the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reflects. Overall in the country, floods and landslides account for the most fatalities between 1974 and 2017 (369 deaths in Sri Lanka’s 9 Provincial Capital cities). However, climate risk varies spatially across the 9 Provincial Capitals and is closely related to the distribution of rainfall across Sri Lanka. In this regard, the distribution of cities across the tropical island’s three climatic zones impacts their exposure to risk. The wet zone and intermediate zone are more exposed to floods and landslides. The dry zone, covering Jaffna, Anuradhapura, and Trincomalee, receives a mean annual rainfall of less than 1,750 mm, and a pronounced dry season, which often results in drought. The data here shows that Anuradhapura was affected predominantly by drought during the period 1974 to 2017, with some flood disaster situations also reported.

Download data file here

Air pollution due to transport

Source - National Building Research Organisation

The data elaborates the level of pollutants in the air due to transportation in the city. Recommended sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ) levels are according to the WHO recommendations.

Thematic maps


Anuradhapura Municipal area:  Anuradhapura Municipal Council covers an area of 5,140 hectares. (Data Source _ Survey Department) Download Map Here                            Download Data Layer Here


Distribution of Grama Niladhari Divisions in Anuradhapura Municipal Council: Further details related to its 28 Grama Niladhari Divisions can be seen by downloading the map and spatial layer. (Data Source: Survey Department) Download Map Here                     Download Data Layer Here


Road Map of Anuradhapura Municipal Council: The road map for Anuradhapura Municipal Council shows information on the road classifications. Road names are visible in the detailed layer which can be downloaded. This has been updated in 2020.(Data Source _ Openstreetmap) Download Map Here                       Download Data Layer Here


Hydrological Network of Anuradhapura Municipal area: (Data Source: SOSLC Project) Download Map Here                           Download Data Layer Here


Anuradhapura Soil Structure: Anuradhapura MC Area distribute a soil Type according to source shape File from Natural Resources Management Centre. Download Map Here                           Download Data Layer Here

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Proper management of land, a scarce resource, can bring about many benefits. This is of great importance especially in urban areas.


It is timely to figure out how land is allocated and being used for what purpose in our cities today. In order to create well planned cities with a futuristic vision, having a better understanding of current land use is imperative.


Land use maps are categorized into 36 sub-categories under two types – built-up and non built-up. The extent of land in each of these sub categories are indicated below.


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SOSLC project
SOSLC project
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SOSLC project
2647.88 (ha)
  • Low Rise
    • 1420.33
    • 5.64
  • Retail
    • 160.35
    Mixed Retail-Residential
    • 13.96
    • 3.26
  • Education
    • University 39.60
    • Other higher edu. 10.85
    • School 38.16
    • Hospital 14.34
    • Dispensary 1.02
    • 187.25
  • Factory
    • 26.06
  • Bus Terminus
    • 2.47
    Rail Terminus
    • 4.00
    • 59.08
    • 4.15
    • 20.53
    Rail Road
    • 98.37
  • Park/Square
    • 45.14
    • 39.43
    • 19.23
  • Religious
    • Temple/Shrine 99.58
    • Church 1.52
    • Mosque 1.04
    • 332.34
    • 0.18
SOSLC project
2492.47 (ha)
    • 710.32
    • 1545.98
    • 36.76
    • 133.70
    • 12.54
    • 10.28
    • 42.89


In all of the cities it can be identified that the higher densities are concentrated in the city centres and the expansion is taken place along the roads. The expansion pattern is shaped by the geography of the surrounding area.


The selection of the area for the urban expansion analysis was followed by several preliminary studies. Initially, the urban index values which was identified using the remote sensing information were studied in the respective municipal areas including a fringe area.
Before selecting interested area for the expansion analysis it should consider following facts
- Municipal boundary
- At least 2-3 km buffer around Municipal boundary
- Rough boundary where the physical urban character disappearing


In the remote sensing discipline, the values higher than 0 represent the built-up areas.The boundary for the fringe area was identified by getting the extent of urban expansion as well as a fine boundary where the high-density expansion become insignificant. The identified boundaries were projected on to the latest satellite images to assure the identified urban index values are in line with the existing building densities.



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SOSLC project
SOSLC project
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Urban expansion statistics
SOSLC project
Anuradhapura Municipal Council ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 7.35%
Urban change 1995 - 2017 7.37
TOTAL AOI 1368.46
    • 1995
      • Total Municipality 154.2
      • Urban 1.96
      • Semi-Urban 7.39
      • Non-Built 26.71
      • Water 15.34
    • 2001
      • Total Municipality 154.23
      • Urban 2.44
      • Semi-Urban 10.44
      • Non-Built 23.19
      • Water 15.34
    • 2012
      • Total Municipality 154.26
      • Urban 4.96
      • Semi-Urban 15.3
      • Non-Built 15.82
      • Water 15.34
    • 2017
      • Total Municipality 102.82
      • Urban 8.59
      • Semi-Urban 17.64
      • Non-Built 9.84
      • Water 15.34
    • 1995
      • Total Fringe 1898.46
      • Urban 0
      • Semi-Urban 4.31
      • Non-Built 560.23
      • Water 68.28
    • 2001
      • Total Fringe 1898.46
      • Urban 0.53
      • Semi-Urban 9.92
      • Non-Built 554.09
      • Water 68.28
    • 2012
      • Total Fringe 1898.46
      • Urban 0.64
      • Semi-Urban 27.34
      • Non-Built 536.56
      • Water 68.28
    • 2017
      • Total Fringe 1265.64
      • Urban 0.76
      • Semi-Urban 45.26
      • Non-Built 518.52
      • Water 68.28