An official website of the Government of Sri Lanka
Census Ordinance

Legal authority for a census is required for fixing administrative responsibilities on public officers, placing legal obligation upon the public to give correct answers and for maintaining confidentiality of the individual information.

The first legal sanction in Sri Lanka provided under the Census ordinance was framed in 1868 on the lines of the English law for the conduct of the first Census in 1871. This was amended in 1880 and repealed in 1900. A new ordinance was drafted thereafter on the lines of the Indian Census Act and was passed by the legislature. The Census Ordinance of 1900 substantially remained the basis for census taking in Sri Lanka throughout the years, with minor amendments in 1945, 1955, 1980 and 2000.

The DCS has taken steps to amend the Census Ordinance and the Cabinet of Ministers has given approval to do the amendments as required. The amendments were sent to the Legal Draftmans Department for drafting the new bill which will then be submitted to the Parliament.

The Government Notifications

Gazette No. 1740/5 - 2012 January 10

Rules made by the Minister of Finance and Planning under Section 5 of the Census Ordinance (Chapter 143).

  • PART I: Preliminary
  • PART II: GENERAL (The Enumeration stage of the Census of Population and Housing)
  • PART III: Duties Of Census Officers
  • PART IV: Information Required For Census Purposes

Gazette No. 1739/17 - 2012 January 04

BY virtue of the powers vested in me by Section 2 of the Census Ordinance (Chapter 143), I, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance and Planning, direct that the final stage of the Census of Population and Housing - 2011, collection data of individuals and Housing units of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka be taken in the early part of the year 2012.