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Sri Lanka’s computer literacy hits 39% in 2023: Census Report

June 11, Colombo (LNW): A notable surge in computer literacy is evident in Sri Lanka, reaching 39 per cent in 2023, provisional data from the Census and Statistics Department disclosed.

The Computer Literacy Rate in the country stands at 39.0 per cent, with the Digital Literacy Rate slightly higher at 63.5 per cent, according to report.

The ownership of desktop or laptop computers in households registers at 20.2 per cent, with urban areas demonstrating higher proficiency in both computer and digital skills.

When examining household computer ownership, approximately one in every five households possesses either a desktop or laptop computer.

In urban areas, this figure rises to 34.0 per cent, while rural and estate sectors show lower ownership at 18.1 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively.

Regional disparities are evident, with the Western Province reporting the highest computer availability at 33.5 per cent, contrasting with the Eastern Province’s lowest rate of 8.6 per cent.

The percentage of households owning computers has remained relatively stable, fluctuating between 20 per cent and 23 per cent from 2021 to 2023.

Individuals aged between 5 and 69 are classified as computer literate if they can independently use a computer, encompassing activities such as playing computer games.

The gradual increase in computer literacy is reflected in the overall rate of 39.0% in 2023, marking a rise of 4.7 percentage points from 2021.

Urban areas exhibit the highest computer literacy rate at 52.9 per cent, contrasting with rates of 37.1 per cent in rural areas and 17.9 per cent in estate sectors.

Amongst provinces, the Western Province leads with a computer literacy rate of 49.9 per cent, while the Uva Province lags behind at 26.5 per cent.

In 2023, males display a higher computer literacy rate (40.9 per cent) compared to females (37.2 per cent), with the youth aged 15-19 exhibiting the highest rate at 79.4%.

Moreover, education level and proficiency in English correlate positively with computer literacy.

Among the employed population, the awareness and proficiency in computers reach 72.4 per cent in 2023, with senior officials, managers, professionals, technicians, and clerical support workers boasting higher rates.

Even individuals engaged in elementary occupations demonstrate a computer literacy rate of 39.0 per cent.

Digital literacy among individuals aged 5 to 69 stands at 63.5 per cent in 2023, surpassing computer literacy levels. Notably, 51.2 per cent of this age group used the internet at least once in the past year, with urban areas exhibiting higher usage rates compared to rural and estate sectors.

Data further reveals that individuals aged 20-24 have the highest internet and email usage, with 18.6 per cent of the household population using email at least once in the past year.

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