—The main objective of this study is to ascertain the structural changes that have taken place in the composition of the population during the last one and a half centuries in Sri Lanka. Secondary data were adopted for the study, and tables, graphs and descriptive statistical techniques were adopted for the data analysis. According to the analysis, it could be concluded that profound structural changes have taken place in the population composition. A special feature that was revealed by the study was that the age structure of the Sri Lankan population is undergoing irreversible changes and as a result, the elderly population in the country is increasing rapidly. These changes that are taking place in the age structure will cause many repercussions in the forthcoming decades. The age structure of the population that was pyramid shaped in 1981 will slowly morph into a barrel shape. This will definitely create a number of political, social and economic problems. However, Sri Lanka gifted itself a demographic dividend around 1991, the benefits of which she will continue to reap up to about 2030. During this period, the proportion of the labour force will show a greater increase than the proportion of children. Therefore, if the demographic bonus is optimally utilized for the purpose of accelerating the economic advancement of the country, it could better compensate for the problems created by the growth of an ageing population.
—Population, population composition, ageing, structural changes.
H. R. Anulawathie Menike is with the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: H. R. Anulawathie Menike, "Structural Changes in the Population Composition of Sri Lanka during the Period 1871-2012," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 188-191, 2017.