Sri Lankan Americans (Sinhala: Sri Lankika Amerikanu); (Tamil: Ilangkaī Amerikan) are Americans of full or partial Sri Lankan ancestry. Sri Lankan Americans are persons of Sri Lankan origin from various Sri Lankan ethnic backgrounds. The people are classified as South Asian in origin.
Sri Lankans started arriving in the U.S. 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.
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. As of 2019, Sri Lankans were coalescing on Staten Island. Staten Island alone has been estimated as home to more than 5,000 Sri Lankan Americans.
Around 40% were born in the United States, while only a half are U.S. citizens.
Sri Lankan Americans are generally educated and affluent. With a median income of $74,000, Sri Lankan Americans are the third most successful Asian American group (tied with Japanese Americans) in regards to income. Additionally, 57% of Sri Lankan Americans over the age of 25 have a bachelor's degree or more.
Association of Sri Lankans in America (AHRCL)
Friends of Sri Lanka in the United States
Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California (SLAASC)
3 Most Central Asians are classified as White Americans. The U.S. Census Bureau considers Mongolians and Uzbeks as Central Asians and classified as Asian Americans, but a specific Central Asian American group similar to Middle Eastern American does not yet exist.
4 The U.S. Census Bureau reclassifies anyone identifying as "Tibetan American" as "Chinese American".