2,266 ha
54 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.

Predictions made by identifying demographic and composition patterns of the population within the existing physical boundary will create a well-planned livable  city.


Population Growth rate

Source - Department of Census and Statistics / SoSLC

The data is considering population estimates of SoSLC for year 2017

Gender distribution by age

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Out of the total population within the Rathnapura Municipal Council limits, 48.61% are male and 51.39% are female. The proportion of the total population divided by age is 23.27% for children under 15, 23.56%, for those aged 15 - 29, 40.28% for those aged 30-59 and 12.9% for the elderly population over 60 year.

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

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Ratnapura’s ethnic city makeup comprises a majority of 79.4 per cent Sinhalese, followed by 12.2 per cent Sri Lanka Moor, 7.0 per cent Tamil, and 1.5 otheres Other groups.

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 all age group.

Female Headed households and Male Headed Households with National Average

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Graph shows males and females headed families along with respective national average.

Migration to city limits by years of residents

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Data is visualizing the immigration population in Ratnapura urban area. majority of them are categorized as settlers for more than ten years in the area.

Reason for migration

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

According the data more females are migrated to the city after marriage and male population is considering the employment opportunities in the city limits as a reason for migration.

Language competency

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph shows language ability of ethnic groups in Ratnapura MC in 2012.


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

This graph provides the category of educational attainment in Ratnapura municipal council.

Highest Level of Education achieved by Gender

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The data explain the level of education in the city population. It is highlighted that highest number of students have reached the secondary education level.

Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph shows computer literacy rate according to the age group in Ratnapura MC in 2012.


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.

Hourly traffic flow (in day time )

Source - SOSLC Project

Between 7 am to 9 am is the busiest traffic period in the Ratnapura MC area with peak reached at 8am due to school and work commuting traffic.

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 Ratnapura MC area between 6 am to 6pm were private vehicles such as motorcycles and car/van/jeeps totaling around 83 per cent of the modal share but Route bus only has an 6 per cent modal share of vehicles.

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

Source - SOSLC Project

The data elaborate the number of passengers in each transportation mode. buses are holding an attractive level of passengers even if the number of buses are limited.

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)

Source - Sri Lanka Police Department

This graph shows fatal casualties within the last 3 years.

Pedestrian crossing

Source - SOSLC Project

The data explain the patterns in pedestrian movements in the area


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

Ratnapura is ranked as the 6th highest on the CCI along with Anuradhapura and Jaffna.

Estimated Gross domestic product per capita

Source - Central Bank Annual report 2017

This graph indicates the gradual rise in per capita GDP in Ratnapura MC.

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

Ratnapura is ranked as the 6th highest on the CCI along with Anuradhapura and Jaffna.

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. Sabaragamuwa Province include 1 MC’s, 3 UC and 25 PS’s. Ratnapura is the provincial capital city of Sabaragamuwa province.


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 Ratnapura MC Area. The majority of housing (around 93.4 per cent) comprises single story and two story houses.

Types of housing

Source - Department of Census and Statistics

The graph indicate that in Ratnapura municipal council almost 89.8 per cent of the houses were permanent in 2012

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. 


Source - Department of Census and Statistics

Ratnapura MC Area has extremely high coverage of electricity and water services with 96.5 and 96.8 per cent having access to safe drinking water and electricity respectively.

Solid waste collection and disposal (Per day)

Source - JICA

Almost 72 per cent households were not covered for garbage collection, around 64 per cent households burning, burying or open dumping their garbage.


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

Ratnapura city is located in the flood plain of the Kalu River, which is considered as one of the main four rivers in Sri Lanka. Historically the city was frequently affected with flood situations. Considering the flood recorders from 2012 to 2017, only 2014 and 2017 years are marked as flood occurred. The flood mitigation steps taken throughout the time can be the reason for the situation. Comparing with the Rathnapura district level data, the flood records are available for 2014, 2016 and 2017 years.

Climate risk exposure(1974-2017)

Source - Disaster Management Center

This graph shows that climate exposure from 1974 to 2017 in Ratnapura Area.

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

Rathnapura Municipal area: Rathnapura Municipal Council covers an area of 2266 hectares.


Map of Administrative Limits of Rathnaura Municipal Council and Distribution of Grama Niladhari Divisions in Administrative Limits: The ethnic / sex / age composition in the Rathnapura Municipal Council area, detailed for each of its 18 Grama Niladhari Divisions.


Map of the Ratnapura floods caused by the Kalu River overflow: The city of Ratnapura is prone to frequent flooding due to the Kalu River overflowing. This map shows the level of floods recorded in 2003.


Landslide Risk Map of Ratnapura City: According to the National Building and Research Organization, the risk zones of Ratnapura city are classified under three categories - high risk, medium risk and low risk.

Filter Map
SoSLC project, NBRO, Risk info
SoSLC project, NBRO, Risk info
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
SoSLC project
SoSLC project
Filter Map

The Ratnapura Municipal Council covers an area of ​​2266 hectares and xx Grama Niladhari Divisions within that limits. (For detailed information, please refer to the thematic maps section under the City Information page)

The Ratnapura Municipal area, known as the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, has built-up land area (1088 hectares) and it covers xx% of the total land area. Non built-up land is (1177 ha) which is just xx%.


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, conservations 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, xx hectares, xx hectares and xx hectares of land are occupied (xx%, xx% and xx% of the total land area respectively)


For public spaces - xxx hectares (xxx% of the total land area)
for transport xxx hectares (xx% of the total land area)

SoSLC project
1088.76 (ha)
  • High Rise
    • 0.05
    Low Rise
    • 823.48
    • 0.17
    • 0.15
  • Retail
    • 55.03
    • 1.34
    Mixed Retail-Residential
    • 1.53
    • 0.94
  • Education
    • Other higher edu. 1.53
    • School 19.82
    • Hospital 10.39
    • Dispensary 0.14
    • 51.1
  • Factory
    • 3.91
  • Bus Terminus
    • 2.55
    • 2.38
    • 21.99
    Rail Road
    • 55.63
  • Park/Square
    • 0.71
    • 19.37
    • 2.01
  • Religious
    • Temple/Shrine 12.58
    • Church 0.53
    • Mosque 0.42
    • 1.01
SoSLC project
1177.52 (ha)
    • 680.27
    • 76.39
    • 254.69
    • 26.82
    • 114.22
    • 25.13


Studies on how the built-up landscape has changed in the urban environment over the past few decades have the potential to draw significant conclusions about current development trends and to predict future development orientations.


This urban sprawl study is a based on the analysis of satellite imagery from the relevant years. This gives the viewer a general idea of how urban sprawl has occurred over this period.

Filter Map
SoSLC project
SoSLC project
Filter Map
Urban expansion statistics
SoSLC project
Ratnapura Municipal Council ( km 2 )
Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2017 7.07%
Urban change 1995 - 2017 2.73
TOTAL AOI 267.51
    • 1995
      • Total Municipality 22.67
      • Urban 0.41
      • Semi-Urban 4.57
      • Non-Built 17.09
      • Water 0.6
    • 2001
      • Total Municipality 22.67
      • Urban 0.79
      • Semi-Urban 5.33
      • Non-Built 15.95
      • Water 0.6
    • 2012
      • Total Municipality 22.67
      • Urban 1.76
      • Semi-Urban 6.9
      • Non-Built 13.41
      • Water 0.6
    • 2017
      • Total Municipality 22.67
      • Urban 2.56
      • Semi-Urban 7.74
      • Non-Built 11.77
      • Water 0.6
    • 1995
      • Total Fringe 244.84
      • Urban 0
      • Semi-Urban 7.58
      • Non-Built 231.95
      • Water 5.31
    • 2001
      • Total Fringe 244.84
      • Urban 0.1
      • Semi-Urban 10
      • Non-Built 229.43
      • Water 5.31
    • 2012
      • Total Fringe 244.84
      • Urban 0.41
      • Semi-Urban 15.04
      • Non-Built 224.08
      • Water 5.31
    • 2017
      • Total Fringe 244.84
      • Urban 0.89
      • Semi-Urban 18.21
      • Non-Built 220.43
      • Water 5.31