640 ha
41.76 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.



Gender distribution by age

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

Population by ethnicity

Source - Divisional Secretariat - Chilaw

All ethnic groups live in the Chilaw area and the Sinhalese have a high prevalence in Weralabada and Wattakkalliya Grama Niladhari Division, other ethnic groups live in Weralabada and Malpura Grama Niladhari Division.


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.

Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

population aged 10 years and above according to computer literacy,age and sex -2012

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


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.

Number of railway passengers annually

Source - Railway Station Chilaw

The Chilaw Railway service is used only by passengers passing through Colombo and Puttalam. This is a major railway station on the Colombo-Puttalam railway line.

Road type and length

Source - Resource profile

Information on the surface condition of all roads in the Chilaw Municipal Council area

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)

Source - Police Station of Chilaw

Accidents in the Chilaw police area have decreased by 10% in 2018 compared to 2017 and 31% in 2019 compared to 2018. The main reason for this is the strict enforcement of traffic rules in the Chilaw police area and the operation of security camera systems in the city.


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.

Annual average air temperature at observation stations

Source - Divisional Secretariat - Chilaw

The temperature of the area is calculated separately each year according to the annual temperature from 2009 to 2019. No special conditions are reported due to the temperature during this period.

Annual rainfall at observation station

Source - Divisional Secretariat - Chilaw

Rainfall in the area is calculated separately for each year according to the annual rainfall from 2009 to 2019. There was a flood situation in 2012 due to high rainfall.Due to the overflowing of the Deduru Oya during the rainy season in 2013-2018, minor floods were observed in some areas.


Health conditions (mortality, morbidity, disability) depend not just on standards of living, but on the actual performance of health systems themselves.

Number of families receiving assistance ( Disease Aid)

Source - Divisional Secretariat - Chilaw

The total number of recipients in 2019 is 68. The number of cancer patients and kidney patients is higher than the number of other patients.

Thematic maps


Chilaw Urban Council area: 

Chilaw Urban Council covers an area of 341.23 hectares. (Data Source _ Survey Department)

 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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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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Urban expansion statistics
Chilaw Urban Council ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 %
Urban change 1995 - 2017