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.
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.
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.
The annual growth rate in Costa Rica reached an all-time high in 1965 at 3.58% and it has been steadily decreasing ever since. This trend is expected to continue in the years to come until growth eventually comes to a standstill, and possibly begins to decline. As of 2019, the population was growing at 0.93% annually, adding roughly 50,000 people each year. This rate is projected to get down to 0.14% by 2050, and the change in numbers at this point will not be at all significant. These predictions believe that the population of Costa Rica will be 5,044,179 in 2020, 5,417,379 in 2030, 5,658,897 in 2040, and 5,774,070 by 2050.
|Costa Rica Population (as of 11/25/2023)||5,226,418|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||5,212,173|
|Births per Day||165|
|Deaths per Day||79|
|Migrations per Day||10|
|Net Change per Day||96|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||31,584|
Net increase of 1 person every 15 minutes
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 8.73 minutes|
|One death every 18.23 minutes|
|One immigrant every 144 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 15 minutes|
Costa Rica is a Central American country close to the equator with coastlines touching both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, wedged between Nicaragua and Panama. The total surface area covers 19,730 square miles (51,100 square kilometers) of area including territorial waters, the mainland and several smaller islands- ranking Costa Rica 128th in the world just in terms of size. Using the 2017 population of 4.906 million (which ranks 120th in the world in terms of population) Costa Rica has a population density of 249 people per square mile (96 per square kilometer), which ranks 88th in the world.
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.
83.8% of people living in Costa Rica live in a city or a surrounding metro area. The capital and largest city is San Jose, which has a population of 333,980 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 located in the central valley and is one of the safest cities in all of Latin America. San Jose is by far the largest metro area and its resident account for a large portion of the country's urban population. Other cities in Costa Rica, none of which have populations over 60,000, include Alajuela, Heredia, Cinco Esquinas, Desamparados, Liberia, Puntarenas, San Vicente, and Barranca.
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.
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.
Christianity is the majority religion in Costa Rica with 52% of the population practicing Catholicism and an additional 25% of people practicing Protestantism. The government recognizes the peoples' religious freedom, but Roman Catholicism is the official state religion. 3% of people in Costa Rica practice a religion other than Christianity, and the remaining 20% of people are either Atheist or Agnostic.
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 is also the most prosperous country in Central America and has a high amount of foreign investment. Classic exports from Costa Rica include coffee, bananas, beef, and sugar.
The government of Costa Rica is a presidential representative democratic republic meaning that the elected president is head of both the state and the government. The president's term is 4 years long and must wait 8 years between terms if they wish to serve again. The president appoints ministers to guide the legislative body about the most important issues to be addressed. The legislative branch is a unicameral legislative assembly made up of 57 deputies elected by the people, that are in charge of passings legislation that leads the executive branch. The judicial branch acts completely independently of the other two branches of government.
Christopher Columbus visited the area now Costa Rica and named it as such in 1502, but it wasn't settled permanently for another 60 years because of disease he brought to the native people. Costa Rica gained independence from Spain in the early 1800s, around the same time coffee was introduced as a crop in the region.
President Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia was elected and brought socialism to Costa Rica in 1940, and 8 years later a civil war began over the election results of his successor. Volcanoes in the 1960s caused many casualties and damage to agriculture. A conservative president was elected in 1978, and the economy plummeted almost instantly. Costa Rica spent much of the remainder of the 20th century electing leaders with different political ideologies, most of which were found to be corrupt in an investigation that happened in 2004.