Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Sri Lankan Tamil Migration

"The eruption of the civil conflict in Sri Lanka between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam saw mass migration of Tamils to escape the hardships and bitter life of a country torn at war."

Wikipedia article on the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora:

The migrated Tamil population post-1983 is said to be above 800,000.

Country Sri Lankan Tamils
India 150,000
Canada 320,000
Germany 60,000
United Kingdom 300,000
France 100,000
Switzerland 40,000
United States 35,000
Italy 24,000
Malaysia 20,000
Australia 53,000
Norway 13,000
Netherlands 7,000
Sweden 6,000
New Zealand 4,000
Finland 600


TamilNation's Diaspora section. Note the individual countries toward the top of the page.


Chart showing net total migration out of Sri Lanka by year using CIA information:

Definition: This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population change. High levels of migration can cause problems such as increasing unemployment and potential ethnic strife (if people are coming in) or a reduction in the labor force, perhaps in certain key sectors (if people are leaving).

Detailed 2004/5 article about the Sri Lankan Tamil migration with many useful links:


Beautiful charts of international migration situation:


Tamil population in 1979, courtesy Satchi Ponnambalam:


2002 article on 'The Tamil Diaspora':


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