Central Bank statistics show that the Sri Lankan population is better off than they were in 2019 and 2020. The statistics broadly show that large investments into infrastructure have paid dividends in terms of uplifting the standards of living for the general populous.
Accordingly, the Sri Lanka Prosperity Index (SLPI) marginally increased to 0.786 in 2020 compared to 0.783 recorded in 2019. The ‘Well-being of the People’ sub-index improved amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, while decreases were observed in the ‘Economy and Business Climate’ and ‘Socio-Economic Infrastructure’ sub-indices, during the year.
Improvements to healthcare facilities and more opportunities created for higher education indicated by an increase in the quota of students enrolled for the state universities have contributed to the increase in Well-being of the People sub-index. In addition, enhanced quality of air and cleanliness of environment derived as side effects of declined industrial activities, reduced vehicle emission and limited mobility of people during the pandemic were also identified as key determinants for the increase recorded within the sub-index.
The highest value of the provincial prosperity index was scored by the Western province, while Southern and Central provinces were ranked at the second and third positions, respectively. Eastern province recorded the highest increase in provincial prosperity index compared to the previous year, followed by Southern, North Central, North Western, Uva, Western and Northern provinces. Concurrently, the highest decrease in provincial prosperity index was recorded in Sabaragamuwa province followed by Central province.
All provinces have recorded decreases in the sub-index and a significant reduction in the use of public transport facilities during the pandemic environment was the main reason for this. The highest decline of the sub-index was reported from Northern province and reduced availability of safe drinking water was also a key reason for this subdued performance. Meanwhile, the lowest decline within the sub-index was observed in North-Western province.