Costa Rica Population 2024 (Live)

5,245,692

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 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.

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 Projections

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.

Population Rank
Growth Rate
2024 World Percentage
Land Area
51,060
The current population of Costa Rica is 5,245,692 based on projections of the latest United Nations data. The UN estimates the July 1, 2024 population at 5,246,714.

Costa Rica Growth Rate

Costa Rica Population Clock

Costa Rica Population (as of 6/19/2024)5,245,692
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2024)5,246,714
Births per Day163
Deaths per Day80
Migrations per Day10
Net Change per Day93
Population Change Since Jan. 115,903

Components of Population Change

One birth every 8.83 minutes
One death every 18 minutes
One immigrant every 144 minutes
Net gain of one person every 15.48 minutes

Costa Rica Population Clock

Costa Rica Population Density Map

City
2024 Population
San Jose335,007
Limon63,081
San Francisco55,923
Alajuela47,494
Liberia45,380
Paraiso39,702
Puntarenas35,650
San Isidro34,877
Curridabat34,586
San Vicente34,447

Costa Rica Area and Population Density

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.

Largest Cities in Costa Rica

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.

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Year
Population
Growth Rate
Density (/km²)
Population Rank
Density Rank
20245,246,7140.63%103123112
20235,212,1730.67%102124113
20205,123,1050.76%100121111
20195,084,5320.87%100121111
20185,040,7340.94%99121111
20174,993,8420.98%98121111
20154,895,2421.15%96120112
20104,622,2521.38%91120110
20054,315,8871.64%85119111
20003,979,1932.18%78122115
19953,572,8562.5%70125119
19903,158,2532.65%62127119
19852,771,4632.8%54127122
19802,414,3032.71%47129123
19752,111,8502.62%41130124
19701,855,6972.97%36131127
19651,602,7363.55%31132125
19601,346,3023.68%26133129
19551,123,9823.45%22134130

Costa Rica Population by Year (Historical)

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Year
Population
Growth Rate
Density (/km²)
Population Rank
Density Rank
20245,246,7140.63%103123112
20255,280,1990.61%103123111
20305,432,2430.57%106124112
20355,554,9280.45%109123112
20405,642,8470.32%111123113
20455,691,6580.17%111122113
20505,702,5250.04%112125115
20555,678,350-0.08%111124116
20605,625,591-0.19%110124120
20655,548,158-0.28%109125123
20705,447,614-0.36%107125125
20755,321,240-0.47%104125125
20805,172,878-0.56%101126128
20855,011,764-0.63%98127128
20904,847,843-0.66%95130130
20954,687,681-0.67%92131129

Costa Rica Population by Year (Projections)

Costa Rica Population Pyramid 2024

Costa Rica Median Age

32.6

Total

32.1

Male

33.1

Female

Costa Rica Population by Age

There are people over age 18 in Costa Rica.

Census Years

Year
Date
20212021
20113 June 2011
200026 June 2000

Costa Rica Population Pyramid

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.

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 Religion, Economy and Politics

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 passing legislation that leads the executive branch. The judicial branch acts completely independently of the other two branches of government.

Costa Rica Population History

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.

Costa Rica Population Rank 2024
Area (km²)
51,100
2024 Growth Rate
Capital
GDP (IMF '23)
$96.06
GDP (UN '22)
$68.38 Bn

Sources