Producing about two-fifths of its country’s overall economic output, Colombo is also the capital city of Sri Lanka. Formerly called British Ceylon or simply Ceylon, the latter is an island nation located in the northern Indian Ocean close to India’s southern coast.
Two Guinness World Records were achieved in front of an enthusiastic crowd inside one of Colombo’s public parks on December 22, 2011. Sri Lankan Sanath Bandara put on 257 T-shirts the most ever and within the minimum time.
T-shirts are also one of Sri Lanka’s most valuable exports.
Sri Lanka exported US$10.5 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016, according to the estimates from the International Trade Centre. Sri Lanka’s highest-value exports are clothing, tea, retreaded or used rubber tires, processed petroleum oils, dried or crushed pepper, diamonds and cinnamon.
Empowered by a deep natural harbor, Colombo is well-positioned to take advantage of East-West maritime trade routes.
Capital Facts for Colombo, Sri Lanka: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Colombo National Museum, Wolvendaal Church, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque and Colombo Fort
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Colombo, Sri Lanka:
- Roshan Perera, billionaire entrepreneur (born Apr. 2, 1976)
- Mahela Jayawardene, cricket scorer & captain (born May 27, 1977)
- George Alagiah, journalist & TV host (born Nov. 22, 1955)
- Jacqueline Fernandez, actress & beauty queen (born Aug. 11, 1985)
- Arjun Kumaraswamy, singer (born Sep. 23, 1990)
- Michael Ondaatje, poet, novelist & filmmaker (born Sep. 12, 1943)
- Otara Gunewardene, entrepreneur & fashion icon (born Aug. 30, 1964)
- Chitral Somapala, power metal singer (born Nov. 4, 1966)
- Pooja Umashankar, actress (born Jun. 25, 1981)
- Angelo Mathews, cricket player (born Jun. 2, 1987)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Sri Lanka resident: Sri Lankan
Population: 707,000 (Colombo city)
Density: 49,063 people per square mile (18,943 per square kilometer)
Population: 2,195,000 (Colombo District)
Density: 25,523 people per square mile (9,855 per square kilometer)
Population: 22,235,000 (Sri Lanka)
Density: 891 people per square mile (344 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$237.8 billion as of October 2016 (for Sri Lanka, per WorldsRichestCountries.com)
GDP per person: $10,695
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Colombo were unavailable.
Official currency used in Colombo: Sri Lankan rupee
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on December 7, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, South Asia: Sri Lanka. Accessed on February 8, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Guinness World Records, Most T-shirts put on in one hour. Accessed on February 8, 2017
Guinness World Records, Most T-shirts worn at once. Accessed on February 8, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 2, 2017
Official Government Website, Colombo Municipal Council. Accessed on December 7, 2016
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas – Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Colombo. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Wikipedia, Colombo District. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Wikipedia, Sri Lanka. Accessed on February 8, 2017
Colombo city proper has a population estimated at 707,000 people for 2015. Within city limits, there is a land area measuring 14.4 square miles (37.3 square kilometers).
Colombia’s built-up urban area extends over 86 square miles (223 square kilometers), and is home to approximately 2.2 million residents.
At the country level, Sri Lanka’s land area covers 24,954 square miles (64,630 square kilometers). The national population count was 22.2 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is higher within Sri Lanka’s capital city with an average 49,100 people per square mile (18,900 per square kilometer).
Density diminishes to an average 25,500 people per square mile (9,900 per square kilometer) for the built-up urbanized areas surrounding Colombo.
For Sri Lanka overall, population density drops to an average 900 inhabitants per square mile (350 per square kilometer).