Costa Rica Population 2018


Costa Rica is a Spanish word that means 'the rich coast.' It is officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, and this Central American country borders the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Panama to the southeast and Nicaragua to the north. In 2018, Costa Rica has an estimated population of 4.95 million.

The current population of Costa Rica is approximately 4.95 million, up from the 4.58 million at the 2011 census. This makes Costa Rica the 120th most populous country in the world. Of course, this number does not factor in the nearly 2.2 million visitors that Costa Rica receives per year!

Costa Rica has a population density of 84 people per square kilometer (220/square mile), which ranks 107th in the world. The capital and largest city is San Jose, which has a population of 288,000 and a high population density of 6,455 people per square kilometer (16,720/square mile). The greater metropolitan area has 2.15 million residents, or a third of the country's entire population. San Jose is one of the safest cities in all of Latin America.

In 1949, Costa Rica eliminated its army once and for all. Costa Rica is the only democratic Latin American country since 1950, and is one of the few countries that have a commendable human development pace. Also in 2011, the UNDP declared that Costa Rica has played a good role in sustaining the environment.

Costa Rica Demographics

According to the 2011 census, the ethnic composition of Costa Rica was 66% White/Castizo, 14% Mestizo, 9% immigrants, 7% Mulatto, 2.5% Amerindian, 1% Black, 0.2% Asian and 0.9% other. According to a genome project, the average Costa Rican in the Central Valley is 68% European, 29% Amerindian and 3% African.

Costa Rica is home to about 104,000 indigenous or Native American people, most of whom live in reservations. There are eight indigenous ethnic groups: the Quitirrisi, Matambu, Maleku, Bribri, Cabecar, Guaymi, Boruca, and Terraba.

The most common European ancestry is Spanish, although there are many with Italian, German, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish and Irish ancestry. The country also has a large Jewish community. Most Afro-Costa Ricans in the country speak Creole English and descend from 19th century black Jamaican immigrants.

Costa Rica has many refugees and illegal immigrants, most of whom are from Nicaragua and Colombia. It's believed that up to 15% of the country's population, or 600,000 people, are Nicaraguans, some of whom migrate to the country for seasonal work. As the only democratic country in the region, Costa Rica has many refugees who fled dictatorships and wars in nearby Latin American countries over the last four decades.

Costa Rica Tourism and Biodiversity

A wide and diverse range of plants and animals are found in the country. While owning only around 0.25% of the world's land, it comprises 5% of the biodiversity of the world. Out of the total land area of Costa Rica, a huge portion is concealed and protected as National Parks. Around 25% of the country's land area is in protected National Parks and other protected areas, which is a large percentage compared to all the other countries.

Costa Rica attracts a huge number of tourists from all over the world every year. In the region of Central America, the largest number of tourists visit Costa Rica. The number of visitors in 2011 was as large as 2.2 million visitors. In 2012, the international tourist revenue increased to 2.4 billion US dollars. Tourism contributed a percentage of 8.1% to the total GNP of the country, while 13.3% of the employment was a result of tourism. Bananas, along with coffee, earn less than the revenue that comes from tourism in the country.

Costa Rica Population Growth

Costa Rica is currently growing at a very steady 1% per year, in line with many neighboring countries. The most recent census in 2011, the first in eleven years, found the population of the country was smaller than expected, in part because Costa Ricans are having fewer children. The average household plummeted from 5.6 in 1973 to 3.5 in 2011. It's also believed that economic troubles play a role, which means that Costa Rica may one day soon begin to see negative growth.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 8 minutes
One death every 21 minutes
One net migrant every 160 minutes
Net gain of one person every 11 minutes

Costa Rica Population in 2018Source: By Peter Andersen [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Costa Rica Population Pyramid 2018

0k10k20k30k40kCosta Rica Male Population0k10k20k30k40kCosta Rica Female Population10095908580757065605550454035302520151050

Costa Rica Median Age







Costa Rica Population by Age

There are 3,619,302 adults in Costa Rica.

Census Years

Year Date
20113 June 2011
200026 June 2000

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Costa Rica Population Growth

With a population growth rate of 1.48%, Costa Rica is in the middle of the pack. This growth is expected to slow until around 2050, when the population will begin to decline.

About Costa Rica

Official NameRepublic of Costa Rica
Languages SpokenSpanish
Is LandlockedNo
Currencies UsedCosta Rica Colon
DemonymCosta Rican

Countries Bordering Costa Rica


Costa Rica Population Density

Costa Rica Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
San Jose335,007
San Francisco55,923
San Isidro34,877
San Vicente de Moravia34,447
San Vicente34,447
San Jose31,430
San Miguel28,827
San Pedro27,477
San Rafael Abajo27,419

Costa Rica Population Clock

The population of Costa Rica (as of 6/18/2018)?4,951,651
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)4,953,199
Births Per Day188
Deaths Per Day68
Net Migrations Per Day 9
Net Change Per Day 129
Population Change Since January 1st21,801

Costa Rica Population Indicators

Crude Birth Rate 13.961 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 5.031 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate 0.665 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 80.14 years
Male Life Expectancy 77.82 years
Female Life Expectancy 82.52 years
Total Fertility Rate 1.764 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 0.847 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.05 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 7.962 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 10.769 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 27.313 years
Rate of Natural Increase 8.93

Costa Rica Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate

Costa Rica Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
Data Sources
  1. National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC)
  2. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1950, 1963, 1973, 1984, 2000 and 2011 censuses adjusted for underenumeration, with official estimates through 2015, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer