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Costa Rica: People & Society#

Population4,755,234 (July 2014 est.)
Population growth rate1.24% (2014 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 23.5% (male 570,311/female 545,026)
15-24 years: 17.5% (male 423,340/female 407,335)
25-54 years: 43.8% (male 1,045,296/female 1,035,273)
55-64 years: 7% (male 193,205/female 201,377)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 154,467/female 179,604) (2014 est.)
Sex ratioat 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: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Birth rate16.08 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate4.49 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Ethnic groupswhite or mestizo 83.6%, mulato 6.7%, indigenous 2.4%, black of African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 8.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official), English
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 78.23 years
male: 75.59 years
female: 81.01 years (2014 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.3%
male: 96%
female: 96.5% (2011 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Costa Rican(s)
adjective: Costa Rican
Net migration rate0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
Total fertility rate1.91 children born/woman (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.3% (2012)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS9,800 (2012)
HIV/AIDS - deaths300 (2012)
Median agetotal: 30 years
male: 29.5 years
female: 30.5 years (2014 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever (2013)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2012)
Education expenditures6.3% of GDP (2009)
Urbanizationurban population: 64% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 90.7% of population
total: 96.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 9.3% of population
total: 3.6% of population (2011 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 91.6% of population
total: 93.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 8.4% of population
total: 6.3% of population (2011 est.)
Major urban areas - populationSAN JOSE (capital) 1.515 million (2011)
Maternal mortality rate40 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight1.1% (2009)
Health expenditures10.9% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density1.32 physicians/1,000 population (2000)
Hospital bed density1.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate23.7% (2008)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 18.4%
male: 15%
female: 24.2% (2012)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 39,082
percentage: 5 % (2002 est.)
Demographic profileCosta 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.
Contraceptive prevalence rate82.2% (2010)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 44 %
youth dependency ratio: 33.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 10.1 %
potential support ratio: 9.9 (2013)