Demographics of Costa Rica

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Costa Ricans
costarricenses
Languages
Costa Rican Spanish, Limonese Creole, Bribri, Ngäbere
Religion
Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and minorities of other religions.
Related ethnic groups
Spaniards, Italian Costa Rican, Nahuatl, Other European peoples, Afro-Costa Rican, Other Amerindian peoples, Chinese people in Costa Rica
 
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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Costa Rica, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Costa Ricans
costarricenses
Languages
Costa Rican Spanish, Limonese Creole, Bribri, Ngäbere
Religion
Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and minorities of other religions.
Related ethnic groups
Spaniards, Italian Costa Rican, Nahuatl, Other European peoples, Afro-Costa Rican, Other Amerindian peoples, Chinese people in Costa Rica
Demographics of Costa Rica, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

According to the United Nations, in 2009 Costa Rica has an estimated population of 4,579,000 people. Together, whites and mestizos make up a 94% of the population, 3% are black people, 1% Amerindians, 1% Chinese, and 1% other.

Just under 3% of the population is of black African descent who are called Afro-Costa Ricans or West Indians and are English-speaking descendants of 19th century black Jamaican immigrant workers. Another 1% is composed of ethnic Chinese, and less than 1% are Middle Easterners, mainly of Lebanese descent but also Palestinians.

There is also a community of North American retirees from the United States and Canada, followed by fairly large numbers of European Union expatriates (esp. Scandinavians and from Germany) come to retire as well, and Australians.[citation needed]

The indigenous population today numbers about 60,000 (1% of the population) with some Miskito and Garifuna (mixed African and West Indian with indigenous Arawak/Carib/Taíno) peoples live in the coastal regions.

Descendants of 19th century West Indian and Jamaican immigrant workers constitute an English-speaking minority and at 3% of the population—number about 96,000 to 100,000.[citation needed]

An estimated 10% of the Costa Rican population is made up of Nicaraguans.[1] There is also a number of Colombian refugees. Moreover, Costa Rica took in lots of refugees from a range of other Latin American countries fleeing civil wars and dictatorships during the 1970s and 80s - notably from Chile and Argentina.

Almost 100,000 Costa Ricans (2% of the country's population) live abroad, mostly in the United States, Mexico and Spain.

Population and ancestry[edit]

In 2009, Costa Rica has a population of 4,579,000 and it's increasing at a rate of 1.5% per year, still relatively high. If this rate continues, the population will increase to 9,158,000 in about 46 years.[2] The population density is nearly 90 people per square km, the third highest in Central America.[3]

Approximately 40% live in rural areas and 60% in urban areas. The rate of urbanization estimated for the period 2005–2010 is 2.3% per annum,[4] one of the highest among developing countries.

ProvinceProvince populationCityCity population
San Jose Province1,345,750San Jose de Costa Rica350,535
Alajuela Province716,286Alajuela46,554
Cartago Province432,395Cartago156,600
Puntarenas Province357,483Puntarenas102,504
Heredia Province354,732Heredia42,600
Limon Province339,395Puerto Limon105,000
Guanacaste Province264,238Liberia98,751

Education[edit]

According to the United Nations, Costa Rica's literacy rate stands at 95.8%,[5] the fifth highest among Latin American countries. Costa Rica's Education Index in 2006 was 0.882; higher than that of richer countries, such as Singapore and Mexico. However Costa Rica's gross enrolment ratio is only 73.0%, smaller than that of the neighbors countries of El Salvador and Honduras.[6]

All students must complete primary school and secondary school, between 6 and 15 years. But some students drop out because they must work to help support their families. In 2007 there were 536,436 pupils enrolled in 3,771 primary schools and 377,900 students attended public and private secondary schools.[7]

Costa Rica's main universities are the University of Costa Rica, in San Jose and the National University of Costa Rica, in Heredia. Costa Rica also has several private universities.

Emigration[edit]

Costa Rica's emigration is among the smallest in the Caribbean Basin. About 3% of the country's people live in another country as immigrants. The main destination countries are the United States, Spain, Mexico and other Central American countries. In 2005, there were 127,061 Costa Ricans living in another country as immigrants. Remittances were $513,000,000 in 2006 and they represented 2.3% of the country's GDP.

Immigration[edit]

Costa Rica's immigration is among the largest in the Caribbean Basin. According to the 2011 census 385,899 residents were born abroad.[8] The vast majority were born in Nicaragua (287,766). Other countries of origin were Colombia (16,514), United States (15,898) and Panama (11,250). Outward Remittances were $246,000,000 in 2006.

Vital statistics[9][10][edit]

Average population (x 1000)Live birthsDeathsNatural changeCrude birth rate (per 1000)Crude death rate (per 1000)Natural change (per 1000)
193455823 85810 02013 83844.218.625.6
193557224 93412 63012 30445.222.922.3
193658525 45011 81113 63945.221.024.2
193759925 62411 03214 59244.519.225.3
193861526 83910 42216 41745.517.727.8
193963127 02711 68715 34044.719.325.4
194064828 00411 21116 79345.318.127.2
194166428 82311 42917 39445.518.127.4
194268028 26313 55914 70443.721.022.7
194369730 46811 73418 73446.117.728.4
194471629 93511 29518 64044.216.727.5
194573632 52910 76821 76146.815.531.3
194675932 1599 97122 18845.013.931.1
194778732 60010 96721 63344.714.929.8
194880835 95610 66625 29044.513.231.3
194983236 77410 56626 20844.212.731.5
195096639 94310 48029 46341.310.830.5
195199443 06810 39032 67843.310.532.9
19521 02545 81610 67235 14444.710.434.3
19531 05845 69711 35334 34443.210.732.5
19541 09348 85710 68138 17644.79.834.9
19551 12949 80011 00039 26944.19.734.8
19561 16751 35010 47640 87444.09.035.1
19571 20652 86011 54441 31643.99.634.3
19581 24653 91910 60843 31143.38.534.8
19591 28957 80111 16046 64144.88.736.2
19601 33459 70111 03548 66644.88.336.5
19611 38260 64110 64449 99743.97.736.2
19621 43160 75011 95348 79742.58.434.1
19631 48262 82112 51950 30242.48.534.0
19641 53361 87013 52748 34340.48.831.6
19651 58362 40012 81449 58639.48.131.3
19661 63362 33011 40350 92738.27.031.2
19671 68161 22911 28949 94036.46.729.7
19681 72960 90210 65350 24935.26.229.1
19691 77659 63611 59948 03733.66.527.1
19701 82259 55711 50448 05332.76.326.4
19711 86758 13810 57547 56331.25.725.5
19721 91159 27410 85548 41931.05.725.4
19731 95658 1779 70248 47529.85.024.8
19742 00257 7499 51248 23728.94.824.1
19752 05259 1759 61549 56028.94.724.2
19762 10560 6689 35651 31228.84.424.4
19772 16264 1908 90755 28329.74.125.6
19782 22267 7228 62559 09730.53.926.6
19792 28469 3189 14360 17530.44.026.4
19802 34870 0489 26861 78029.83.926.3
19812 41572 2948 99063 30430.03.726.2
19822 48373 1689 16864 00029.53.725.8
19832 55472 9449 43263 53628.63.724.9
19842 62676 8789 93166 21729.03.825.2
19852 69984 33710 49373 84131.33.927.4
19862 77383 19410 44972 74530.03.826.3
19872 84880 32610 68769 63928.23.824.5
19882 92481 37610 94470 43227.83.724.1
19893 00183 46011 27272 18827.83.824.1
19903 07981 93911 36670 57326.63.722.9
19913 15681 11011 79269 31825.73.722.0
19923 23480 16412 25367 91124.83.821.0
19933 31279 71412 54467 17024.13.820.3
19943 39480 39113 31367 07823.73.919.8
19953 47880 30614 06166 24523.14.019.0
19963 56779 20313 99365 21022.23.918.3
19973 65878 01814 26063 75821.33.917.4
19983 75176 98214 70862 27420.53.916.6
19993 84278 52615 05263 47420.43.916.5
20003 93078 17814 94463 23419.93.816.1
20014 01376 40115 60860 79319.03.915.1
20024 09471 14415 00456 14017.43.713.7
20034 17172 93815 80057 13817.53.813.7
20044 24672 24715 94956 29817.03.813.3
20054 32071 54816 13955 40916.63.712.8
20064 39271 29116 76654 52516.23.812.4
20074 46373 14417 07156 07316.43.812.6
20084 53375 18718 02157 16616.64.012.6
20094 60175 00018 56056 44016.34.012.3
20104 67070 92219 07751 84515.24.111.1
20114 73873 45918 80154 65815.54.011.5

Ethnic groups[edit]

Today most Costa Ricans are of primarily Spanish ancestry with minorities of German, Italian, French, Dutch, British, Swedish and Greek ancestry. 40% being White, 40% Castizo, and 14% being Mestizo. European and western-oriented, plus American pop culture has a large impact in Costa Rica, also thrived in a fairly democratic prosperous economy.

European immigration used Costa Rica to get across the isthmus of Central America as well to emigrate on the USA West Coast (California) in the late 19th century and to the 1910s before the Panama Canal opened. Other Europeans ethnic groups known to lives in Costa Rica are Russians, Danes, Belgians, Portuguese, Croats, Hungarians, Turks, Armenians and Georgians. Without a doubt Costa Rica is the Central American country with the largest white population.

Costa Rica has three small minority groups: blacks, Indians and Asians (mostly Chinese). Blacks represent about 3% of the population. Indians and Asians represent 1.5% each.

Blacks live along the Caribbean coast. Their ancestors came to Costa Rica from Jamaica in the late 19th century to build railroads and to work on the banana plantations. The Indians live primarily in isolated communities in the highlands and along both coasts. Most of them still keep their traditional ways of life.

Languages[edit]

Nearly all Costa Ricans speak Spanish; but many blacks speak a traditional Jamaican dialect of English, also most of the Indians speak their own language.

Religions[edit]

According to the World Factbook the main religions are: Roman Catholic, 76.3%; Evangelical, 13.7%; Jehovah's Witnesses, 1.3%; other Protestant, 0.7%; other, 4.8%; none, 3.2%.



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Religion in Costa Rica[11][12]

  Catholicism (70.5%)
  Protestantism (13.8%)
  Irreligion (11.3%)
  Buddhism (2.1%)
  Other religions (2.2%)
Basilica Los Angeles, Cartago, Costa Rica
Mormon Temple, San José, Costa Rica

The most recent nationwide survey of religion in Costa Rica, conducted in 2007 by the University of Costa Rica, found that 70.5 percent of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics (with 44.9 percent practicing, 25.6 percent nonpracticing), 13.8 percent are Evangelical Protestants, 11.3 percent report that they do not have a religion, and 4.3 percent declare that they belong to another religion.[11]

Apart from the dominant Catholic religion, there are several other religious groups in the country.[11] Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, and other Protestant groups have significant membership.[11] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claim more than 35,000 members and has a temple in San Jose that served as a regional worship center for Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras.[11][13] Although they represent less than 1 percent of the population, Jehovah's Witnesses have a strong presence on the Caribbean coast.[11] Seventh-day Adventists operate a university that attracts students from throughout the Caribbean Basin.[11] The Unification Church maintains its continental headquarters for Latin America in San Jose.[11] Non-Christian religious groups, including followers of Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Hare Krishna, Paganism, Wicca, Scientology, Tenrikyo, and the Bahá'í Faith, claim membership throughout the country, with the majority of worshipers residing in the Central Valley (the area of the capital).[11] While there is no general correlation between religion and ethnicity, indigenous peoples are more likely to practice animism than other religions.[11]

Article 75 of the Costa Rican Constitution states that the "Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Religion is the official religion of the Republic".[14] That same article provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.[11] The US government found no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice in 2007.[11]

Demographic statistics[edit]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook and from the United Nations unless otherwise indicated.

Median age[edit]

Total: 27.5 years
Male: 27.1

Sex ratio[edit]

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)
Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Infant mortality rate[edit]

9.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2005–2010)

Under five mortality rate[edit]

11.4/1,000 live births (2005–2010)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

Total population: 78.8 years
Male: 76.5 years
Female: 81.2 years (2005–2010)

HIV/AIDS[edit]

Adult prevalence rate: 0.4% (2007)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 9,700 (2007)
Deaths: fewer than 200 (2007)

Literacy[edit]

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 94.9% (2007/2008)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2006 edition".

External links[edit]