Costa Rica Population 2020

5,082,815

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 2020, Costa Rica has an estimated population of 5.09 million.

The current population of Costa Rica is approximately 5.09 million, up from the 4.58 million at the 2011 census. This makes Costa Rica the 122nd 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 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.

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 passings 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 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.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 8 minutes
One death every 20 minutes
One net migrant every 131 minutes
Net gain of one person every 11 minutes

Costa Rica Population in 2018Source: By Peter Andersen [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

Costa Rica Population Pyramid 2020

Costa Rica Population by Age

There are 3,766,800 adults in Costa Rica.

Census Years

Year Date
20212021
20113 June 2011
200026 June 2000

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.

Official NameRepublic of Costa Rica
Languages SpokenSpanish
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude10.00, -84.00
Currencies UsedCosta Rica Colon
DemonymCosta Rican
BordersNicaragua
Panama
Name Population Location
San Jose335,007Map
Limon63,081Map
San Francisco55,923Map
Alajuela47,494Map
Liberia45,380Map
Paraiso39,702Map
Puntarenas35,650Map
San Isidro34,877Map
Curridabat34,586Map
San Vicente de Moravia34,447Map
San Vicente34,447Map
San Jose31,430Map
Purral30,034Map
Turrialba28,955Map
San Miguel28,827Map
San Pedro27,477Map
San Rafael Abajo27,419Map
Quesada27,310Map
Ipis26,669Map
Cartago26,594Map

Costa Rica Population Clock

The population of Costa Rica (as of 4/2/2020)?5,082,815
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2020)5,094,118
Births Per Day188
Deaths Per Day72
Net Migrations Per Day11
Net Change Per Day127
Population Change Since January 1st11,811

Costa Rica Population Estimator

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Estimate as of April 2nd 2020 is: 5,082,766

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20205,094,11849.96%50.04%99.691220.92%
20195,047,56149.98%50.02%98.781200.96%
20184,999,44149.99%50.01%97.841201.00%
20174,949,95450.01%49.99%96.871201.03%
20164,899,34550.02%49.98%95.881201.06%
20154,847,80450.03%49.97%94.871201.15%
20104,577,37850.09%49.91%89.581191.33%
20054,285,50250.14%49.86%83.871191.58%
20003,962,37250.19%49.81%77.541202.25%
19953,545,53450.28%49.72%69.381242.59%
19903,119,43350.38%49.62%61.051262.65%
19852,736,71250.43%49.57%53.561272.75%
19802,389,97750.51%49.49%46.771292.68%
19752,094,18850.56%49.44%40.981292.54%
19701,847,39450.66%49.34%36.151303.01%
19651,592,84150.75%49.25%31.171323.66%
19601,330,78250.82%49.19%26.041333.69%
19551,110,08750.88%49.12%21.721343.26%
1950945,69650.96%49.04%18.511340.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20205,094,11849.96%50.04%99.691220.00%
20255,302,11149.90%50.10%103.761240.80%
20305,468,03849.85%50.15%107.011240.62%
20355,598,03149.82%50.18%109.551230.47%
20405,691,98349.80%50.20%111.391230.33%
20455,749,46849.79%50.21%112.511220.20%
20505,772,69949.79%50.21%112.971240.08%
20555,763,36649.80%50.20%112.79124-0.03%
20605,724,05549.81%50.19%112.02127-0.14%
20655,659,75249.81%50.19%110.76127-0.23%
20705,573,81849.80%50.20%109.08128-0.31%
20755,466,53949.79%50.21%106.98128-0.39%
20805,340,25749.78%50.22%104.51128-0.47%
20855,201,97449.78%50.22%101.80131-0.52%
20905,061,51349.80%50.20%99.05132-0.55%
20954,925,83449.82%50.18%96.40132-0.54%
  1. National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC)
  2. World Population Prospects (2019 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