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Sri Lankan American


Sri Lankan American

Sri Lankan Americans
Total population
45,159 (Foreign born, 2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New York City Metropolitan Area (including New York City, Central New Jersey, and Long Island)[2][3][4] Los Angeles metropolitan area, and other major American metropolitan areas
American English, Sinhalese, Tamil, Languages of Sri Lanka
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Roman Catholicism

Sri Lankan Americans (Sinhala: Sri Lankika Amerikanu) are Americans of Sri Lankan descent. Sri Lankan Americans are persons of Sri Lankan origin from various Sri Lankan ethnic backgrounds. The people are classified as South Asian in origin.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Organizations 3
  • Notable Sri Lankan Americans 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes and references 6
  • External links 7


Sri Lankans started arriving in the USA around the mid 1950s in larger numbers, but there is evidence from U.S. census records of Sri Lankans having arrived in earlier years from Ceylon.

In 1975, Sri Lankan immigrants were classified for the first time as belonging to a category separate from "other Asian". In that year, 432 Sri Lankans entered the United States.

According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service records, in 1996, 1,277 Sri Lankans were naturalized. This included 615 who had arrived in 1995 and 254 who had arrived in 1994, compared with only 68 arrivals in 1993 and 17 before 1985.

The number increased to 14,448 in the 1990s in conjunction with the Sri Lankan Civil War. Sri Lankan Americans settled largely in cities.[5]


The New York City Metropolitan Area, including New York City, Long Island, and Central New Jersey, contains the largest Sri Lankan community in the United States, receiving the highest legal permanent resident Sri Lankan immigrant population,[2][3][4] followed by the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Little Sri Lanka, in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of the borough of Staten Island in New York City, is one of the largest Sri Lankan communities outside of the country of Sri Lanka itself.[6][7] Staten Island alone has been estimated as home to more than 5,000 Sri Lankan Americans.[8]


  • Association of Sri Lankans in America (AHRCL)
  • Friends of Sri Lanka in the United States
  • Sri lanka Association of New England (SLANE)[9]
  • Sri Lanka Foundation[10]
  • Sri Lankan American Association of Houston[11]
  • Sri Lankan American Cultural Association (SLACA)[12]

Notable Sri Lankan Americans

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "SELECTED POPULATION PROFILE IN THE UNITED STATES more information 2010-2012 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2012 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2010 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Sri Lankan Americans - History, Modern era, The first sri lankans in america". 1948-02-04. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  6. ^ Harrison Peck. "NYC The Official Guide - Must-See Little Sri Lanka: 7 Great Things to See and Do". NYC & Company, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  7. ^ Amy Zavatto (August 5, 2010). "Frommer's - New York City: Exploring Staten Island's Little Sri Lanka". John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  8. ^ Kirk Semple (2013-06-08). "Sri Lankans have gathered on Staten Island,...". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  9. ^ "SLANE". Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  10. ^ "Home". Sri Lanka Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  11. ^ "Sri Lankan American Association of Houston". SLAAH. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-08-15. 

External links

  • Sri Lankan Americans
  • US Census 2000 foreign born population by country
  • Sri Lanka: Background and U.S. Relations
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