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Indians in Sri Lanka 2023

India has the largest diaspora in the world & as per the Ministry of External Affairs, there are 3.2 Crores or 32 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) residing outside India.

As per the 2018 Ministry of External Affairs report, there are 1,614,000* (16.14 Lakhs) Indians residing in Sri Lanka. Out of which around

  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) – 1,600,000 (16 Lakhs)  
  • Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)  – 14000

read about Population of Overseas Indians

Indians Tamils in Sri Lanka

Indians in Sri Lanka refer to Indians or people of Indian ancestry mainly Tamils living in Sri Lanka. They are partly descended from workers sent from South India to Sri Lanka in the 19th and 20th centuries to work in coffee, tea, and rubber plantations. Some also migrated on their own as merchants and as other service providers. These Tamil speakers mostly live in the central highlands, also known as the Malayalam or Hill Country yet others are also found in major urban areas and in the Northern province.

Tamil Indians make up around 5.5 % of the Sri Lanka population and as per the 2018 MEA report, there are 16 lakh people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka.

Regions with significant populations of Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka

  • Central Province – 484,429
  • Uva Province –  154,252
  • Sabaragamuwa – 104,063
  • Western – 61,826

*Source: MEA report about overseas Indian population.

Religion of Indian Origin population in Sri Lanka

Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka are mostly Hindus with a minority of Buddishim, Christians, and Muslims amongst them.

  •  Hindus. – 90%
  • Christianity – 7.6%
  • Others – 2.4%

also read about religion in Sri lanka

Indian population in Sri Lanka 2023