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Sri Lanka

Social conditions

Developments in Sri Lanka differ in several respects from the progress in other low-income countries. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of LKA and acronym for Sri Lanka. The average family has two children, a decrease from six children 40 years ago. However, this is less due to success with birth control campaigns than to increased marriage age as a result of increased education and, to some extent, occasionally high unemployment.

Society of Sri Lanka

The welfare programs introduced by governments, monks and voluntary organizations after independence in 1948 focused on free schooling, health care, and rice subsidies, which in 1979 were replaced by free rice rations for the poorest. Health care is better developed than in other parts of South Asia. In 2006, there were approximately six doctors per 10,000 residents and 31 hospital beds per 10,000 residents. But malaria and epidemic infectious diseases, which have been successfully combated in the past, have increased since the welfare programs were reduced and the susceptibility in the population increased. In addition, malaria mosquitoes and bacteria of various kinds have become resistant to DDT and to known forms of antibiotics. During the 2000s, the incidence of turbosolos has increased after decreasing steadily since the 1970s.

As early as the 1930s, certain provisions on accident and social insurance and occupational protection were adopted, but much has remained on paper, as have gender equality reforms. The women in Sri Lanka have had the right to vote since 1931. Trade unions have existed since 1922, but the movement is strongly divided and the unions are often allied with some political party. In densely populated Sri Lanka, congestion is acute, although there has been a house-building program since 1978 with the aim of providing all families with adequate housing. Lack of capital and building materials such as cement have significantly delayed this program.

In the liberalized economy since 1977, a small population group has become richer, while about 1/4 of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line.

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