1,634 ha
115 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.



Language competency

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The data show the language abilities of the people in the area of Sri Jayawardhanapura KOtte MC.

Download data file here

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

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Sex ratio is calculated using the percentage of proportion of males relative to females in a population. The graph indicates that more females than males in over 30 years of age group.

Download data file here

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.

Download data file here

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

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Ethnic city makeup of the city comprises a majority of 84.8 per cent Sinhalese, followed by 5.1 per cent Sri Lanka Moor,6.9 per cent Tamil, and 3.1 per cent Other groups.

Reason for migration

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Employment is considered as the main reason for male population migration in to the city, and the females are migrated in the city is due to marriages and also considering employments as well as accompanying with a family member.

Download data file here

Gender distribution by age

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Out of the total population within the Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte Municipal Council limits, 48.17% are male and 51.83% are female. The proportion of the total population divided by age is 18.34% for children under 15, 23.93%, for those aged 15 - 29, 41.11% for those aged 30-59 and 16.61% for the elderly population over 60 year.

Download data file here

Migrant population in city limits by years of residence

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The total male resident population in the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council area is 51992, the total female resident population is 55933 out of which the total male migrant population is 17977 and the total female migrant population is 18817. According to that the amount of female inmigrants are comparatively higher than the male inmigrants.

Download data file here


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.

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

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Around 50 per cent of people attainment in School education while 25 per cent not stydying in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte MC.

Highest Level of Education achieved by Gender

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

This graph shows that there is still a higher proportion of males that achieve a higher degree and above despite more females graduating from GCE (O/L) and GCE (A/L).

Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

It shows the computer literacy of persons between the ages of 10 and 40 in terms of gender and it explains that 66% of men and 47% of women in the Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte Municipal Council are computer literate.further to that it shows that 15-19 age group is holding the highest level in computer literacy in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council in 2012.

Download data file here


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.

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)

Source - Sri Lanka Police Department

This graph shows fatal casualties within the last 3 years. There has been a substantial increase in fatal casualties mirroring the increased traffic in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte MC.

Download data file here

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

Source - SOSLC Project

Route buses are the main transportation method which provide services to large potion of passengers in the city. Use of privet vehicles is also in a high level, where it can be a main reason for traffic situations in road network in the city

Hourly traffic flow (in the day time)

Source - SOSLC Project

Between 6 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 5 pm are the busiest traffic period in the Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte MC area with peak reached at 8am due to school and work commuting traffic.

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

Source - SOSLC Project

This highest percentage of vehicles entering into the Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte MC area between 6 am to 6pm were private vehicles such as motorcycles and car/van/jeeps totaling around 90 per cent of the modal share but Route bus only has an 3 per cent modal share of vehicles.

Pedestrian’s movement

Source - SOSLC Project

The data is elaborating the pedestrian movements in the city.


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. 

Estimated City Competitiveness Index (CCI)

Source - SOSLC Project

The data is common to the Colombo urban area which includes Dehiwala MC and Kotte MC. According to the data, the city is ranked as the first highest on the CCI following Kurunegala and Kandy as second and third respectively.

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.

City Governance Index

Source - SOSLC Project

This data is common to Colombo, Dehiwala and Kotte MC areas, which covers the urban area of the capital city of Sri Lanka. the service delivery coverage and the service delivery financing is in a high level in this cities according to the data available.

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 chart shows the distribution of LAs by province in particular local authority belongs. Colombo is the main district which having the highest number of MC’s and UC’s (7 MC’s; 14 UC’s, 27 PS’s). [Colombo district - Colombo MC, Dehiwala-M. L. MC, Moratuwa MC, Sri Jayawar. Kotte MC, Kaduwela MC Kolonnawa UC, Seethawakapura UC, Maharagama UC, Kesbewa UC, Boralasgamuwa UC Gampaha District - Negambo MC, Gampaha MC, Ja-Ela UC, Katunayaka Seeduwa UC, Minuwangoda UC, Peliyagoda UC, Wattala Mabola UC Kaluthara District - Beruwala UC, Horana UC, Kalutara UC, Panadura UC]


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 Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte MC Area. The majority of housing (around 88 per cent) comprises single story and two story houses.

Download data file here

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. 

Solid waste collection and disposal (Per day)

Source - JICA

97.3 percent households are covered for garbage collection.


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.

Marshy land exists in all wards of the Kotte MC

Source - SOSLC Project

A conspicuous feature is that water logged and marshy land exists in all wards of the MC except Nugegoda South and Gangodawila wards. The existence of such wet lands (open spaces) with great bio-diversity provides a good living environment. These wet lands also act as retention areas for the heavy rainfalls during the South West Monsoon (May to August).

Flood Data

Source - Disaster Management Center

The urban area records a significant level flood only in year 2016. There is recorded miner level flood situation in 2015 and 2017. Considering the district level, this can be considered that the flood risk of the area is comparatively minimum. In practical situation, the low line areas and streets are frequently go under flash flood situations in heavy rains.

Thematic maps

Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte Municipal area: 

Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte Municipal Council covers an area of 1,634 hectares. (Data Source _ Survey Department)

Download Map Here    Download Data Layer Here


Soil types within the Municipal Limit:

This shows the distribution of soil types within the limits of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Municipal Council.(Data Source: LUPPD)

Download Map Here    Download Data Layer Here


Areas widthin Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte that are prone to flooding:

Areas at risk of floods within the limits of the Sri Jayawardenapura Divisional Secretariat are specially mapped here. Data for this has been obtained from the Planning Division of the Divisional Secretariat. (Data Source: Kotte DS - Planning Department)

Download Map Here    Download Data Layer Here


Filter Map
Filter Map


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.


Filter Map
Filter Map

The Sri Jayawardhnapura Kotte Municipal Council covers an area of ​​1633 hectares. There are 20 Grama Niladhari Divisions within that limits.


The Sri Jayawrdhanapura Kotte Municipal area, known as the Administrative capital city of Sri Lanka, has a high built-up land area (1303 hectares) and it covers 80% of the total land area. Non built-up land is very limited (330 ha) which is just 20%.


The built-up land has been categorized under six main categories as residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, transport, public space, cultural and under construction. Non built-up land has been divided into six sub-categories as agriculture, water, forest, wetlands, coastal areas and barren lands. The built-up land is again divided into 30 subsections. (More information on the respective land use is listed below with charts and land area)

For commercial, industrial and institutional purposes, 154 hectares, 20.3 hectares and 67.9 hectares of land are occupied (9.4%, 4.15% and 1.24% of the total land area respectively)


For public spaces - 23.48 hectares (6.12% of the total land area) for transport 100 hectares (1.43% of the total land area)


Download data layer here

1303.48 (ha)
  • High Rise
    • 2.50
    Low Rise
    • 894.24
    • 2.12
    • 1.55
  • Retail
    • 99.87
    • 31.68
    Mixed Retail-Residential
    • 19.87
    • 3.28
  • Education
    • University 3.57
    • Other higher edu. 7.24
    • School 23.50
    • Hospital 0.07
    • Dispensary 1.56
    • 31.96
  • Factory
    • 20.40
  • Bus Terminus
    • 0.16
    Rail Terminus
    • 0.16
    • 0.98
    • 99.07
  • Park/Square
    • 3.06
    • 18.58
    • 1.84
  • Religious
    • Temple/Shrine 19.83
    • Church 1.800
    • Mosque 0.05
    • 0.36
    • 14.18
330.07 (ha)
    • 2.62
    • 66.82
    • 219.13
    • 41.50


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.



Filter Map
Filter Map

Urban Expansion of Colombo City (Changed from 1995 - 2017)


Colombo has become one of the most urbanized city from last few decades. These maps have attempted to give a clear idea of how the urban expansion took place.


To identify the evolution of the construction sector that has taken place within the city limits over the years, the buildings are classified as high dense and low dense areas.


Satellite imagery was used for this purpose. Data are presented in four categories namely highly urban, semi urban, non-built-up and water, within the boundaries of the city limits of Colombo Municipality and beyond in the years 1995, 2001, 2012 and 2017. Further information is shown using charts and graphs below, including the number of square kilometres in the area.


Within the municipal limits, highly urbanized area has gradually grown from 77% in 1995, 80% in 2001, 85% in 2017 and 90% by 2017.


Simultaneously, it can be concluded that the semi-urban boundary has gradually declined from 11.6% in 1995 to 9% in 2001 to 6.2% in 2012 and to 4.2% by 2017.


Download statistical data layer here

Urban expansion statistics
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 %
Urban change 1995 - 2017