Cultural Diversity of Costa Rica

The population of Costa Rica is of predominantly European descent, particularly Spanish. A small number of people of African descent (about 2% of the population) migrated to the Caribbean coast from Jamaica.

It is true that few of the native Indians survived European contact; the indigenous population today numbers about 29,000 or less than 1% of the population.

Descendants of 19th century Jamaican immigrant workers constitute an English-speaking minority and at 3% of the population number about 96,000.

A recent important ethnic group in Costa Rica are Nicaraguans who represent 10% of the population. Most of these Nicaraguans are refugees from the Sandinista regime that existed in Nicaragua;

The main migrants, who established themselves in Costa Rica during the 18th and 19th centuries, were of German, Polish, Italian, and Jewish ancestry,

There is also a growing number of Colombian, Panamanian and Peruvian refugees who have adopted Costa Rica as their home. This is due mainly to Costa Rica's hospitality and peaceful government in comparison to other countries in Latin America

Population: 3,710,558 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32% (male 609,051; female 581,302)
15-64 years: 63% (male 1,177,262; female 1,150,673)
65 years and over: 5% (male 89,541; female 102,729) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.69% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 20.69 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.31 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
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: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 11.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.82 years
male: 73.3 years
female: 78.47 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.52 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Ethnic groups:
white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%*

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Evangelical Protestant, approximately 14%, other less than 1%

Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 94.8%
male: 94.7%
female: 95% (1995 est.)

{rdaddphp file=adsense_ads/ad234x60.html}

Kids from Estrada, Limon
Kids from Estrada, Limón
Courtesy of

{rdaddphp file=adsense_ads/ad234x60.html}

Liberacion party fan
Guami indians picking coffee
Courtesy of

{rdaddphp file=adsense_ads/ad234x60.html}

Guanacaste Cowboy - "Sabanero"
Courtesy of