Demographics of Costa Rica

Demographics Of Costa Rica

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

Costa Rican Spanish, Limonese Creole, Bribri, Ngäbere


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

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.

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.

An estimated 10% of the Costa Rican population is made up of Nicaraguans. 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.

Read more about Demographics Of Costa Rica:  Population and Ancestry, Demographic Statistics