Valikamam North, Valikamam West and Vadamarachi West, the first two areas containing lands of intensive cultivation, and the last area containing limestone wastes and grey loam soil, have 1000 to 2000 persons per square mile in general and 5000 in the cultivated areas of Valikamam North and Vadamarachi West. In the cultivated areas of Valikamam West, the density is 2000 persons per square mile. Pachilaippalai, teeming with malarial mosquitos, has merely 275 persons per square mile of the cultivated area.
The Jaffna town and surrounding area (Jaffna division) have more than 4000 persons per square mile. This density is due no doubt to the fact that the town is not only the administrative and cultural capital, but also the market and business centre of the entire Peninsula." In 1993 the total population stood at 133,000.4 Fishing settlements are to be found in the Northern and Eastern coasts of the Peninsula. Population in the fishing areas near the Jaffna town such as Navanthurai, Gurunagar and Passaiyur is extremely dense.
Kayts, which guards the sea entry to Jaffna and is also the gateway to the Islands, together with Kankesanturai, Valvettiturai and Point
Pedro constitute the seaports of the Peninsula, with open, non- sheltered, harbours. Valvettiturai, the birthplace of Velupillai Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE, has marine grottos and caverns overflowing with marine fossils. Sea pirates in the middle ages used these grottos. In the early and middle parts of this century, Valvettiturai had also gained reputation as a smuggling area.
Most of the agricultural settlements may be termed rural. Houses are to be found on the margins of gardens and are "strung like beads along the road" Where paddy and coconut are cultivated, houses are found in groups forming villages.
The tendency of the people of Jaffna to build houses along roads and even along railway tracks has intrigued some scholars. It has surprised them because of the "closed nature of the average Tamils dwelling" In point of fact, houses are shut off behind a fence of Palmyrah or cadjian leaves; the fence is supported by the live tulip trees (