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Costa Rica Demographics Profile

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5,097,988 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 22.08% (male 575,731/female 549,802)
15-24 years: 15.19% (male 395,202/female 379,277)
25-54 years: 43.98% (male 1,130,387/female 1,111,791)
55-64 years: 9.99% (male 247,267/female 261,847)
65 years and over: 8.76% (male 205,463/female 241,221) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 45.1
youth dependency ratio: 30.2
elderly dependency ratio: 14.9
potential support ratio: 6.7 (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 32.6 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 33.1 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
1.08% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
14.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
urban population: 80.8% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
1.400 million SAN JOSE (capital) (2020)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 100.4 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 7.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 79.2 years
male: 76.5 years
female: 82 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.87 children born/woman (2020 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
70.9% (2018)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.4% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
14,000 (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<200 (2019 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 98.4% of population
rural: 95.8% of population
total: 97.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.6% of population
rural: 4.2% of population
total: 2.2% of population (2017 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: intermediate (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
noun: Costa Rican(s)
adjective: Costa Rican
Ethnic groups
white or mestizo 83.6%, mulatto 6.7%, indigenous 2.4%, black of African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)
Roman Catholic 71.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 12.3%, other Protestant 2.6%, Jehovah's Witness 0.5%, other 2.4%, none 10.4% (2016 est.)
Demographic profile

Costa Rica's political stability, high standard of living, and well-developed social benefits system set it apart from its Central American neighbors. Through the government's sustained social spending - almost 20% of GDP annually - Costa Rica has made tremendous progress toward achieving its goal of providing universal access to education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Since the 1970s, expansion of these services has led to a rapid decline in infant mortality, an increase in life expectancy at birth, and a sharp decrease in the birth rate. The average number of children born per women has fallen from about 7 in the 1960s to 3.5 in the early 1980s to below replacement level today. Costa Rica's poverty rate is lower than in most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades.

Costa Rica is a popular regional immigration destination because of its job opportunities and social programs. Almost 9% of the population is foreign-born, with Nicaraguans comprising nearly three-quarters of the foreign population. Many Nicaraguans who perform unskilled seasonal labor enter Costa Rica illegally or overstay their visas, which continues to be a source of tension. Less than 3% of Costa Rica's population lives abroad. The overwhelming majority of expatriates have settled in the United States after completing a university degree or in order to work in a highly skilled field.

Spanish (official), English
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 97.8%
female: 97.9% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 16 years
male: 17 years
female: 17 years (2019)
Education expenditures
7.4% of GDP (2017)
Maternal mortality rate
27 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
Health expenditures
7.3% (2017)
Physicians density
2.95 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
1.1 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
25.7% (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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