Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica births decreasing

December 22, 2011

Costa Rica has changed substantially in recent years. Preliminary results from the 2011 Census, produced by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC), show that although the country’s population is not increasing as expected, Costa Rican demographics and housing trends are much different from what they were in 2000. 

Costa Rica has 4,301,712 people, an increase of only 491,533 since 2000. However, population density is increasing, with 84 people per square kilometer – nine more than in 2000. Women make up the majority of the population, totaling 51 percent. 

Costa Rica is not experiencing significant population growth in comparison to the previous census a decade ago. Between 2000 and 2011, the population grew by 1.1 percent. From 1984 to 2000, the growth rate was 2.8 percent. 

“We attribute this result to a constant drop in the birth rate. Births have decreased from 19.5 births for 1,000 people [in 2000], to 15.5 in 2011. In 1963, women had an average of seven children each; in 2010 that number dropped to 1.8,” said INEC Census Coordinator Elizabeth Solano. 

Although additional conclusions from the census will be made public early next year, Solano said that current results may already indicate the slowing down of immigration in the country, and a possible increase in  emigration. 

“We are entering a phase of a more complex immigration dynamic that will require further analysis. We will soon be able to give a broader view of how immigration is changing the country’s population,” Solano said.

San José continues to be Costa Rica’s most populated province, but it also has the slowest population growth. Between 2000 and 2011, the province’s population grew by only 0.4 percent. Guanacaste province’s population  showed the highest population growth, at 1.9 percent during the same period. 

The canton of San José is also one of the slowest-growing cantons in terms of population, along with other Central Valley cantons including Montes de Oca and Goicoechea. Solano said many of the slow-growing cantons had been the fastest-growing ones a decade ago.

Today, more properties are turning into businesses, and residents are moving out of the city centers. 

Garabito, in the province of Puntarenas, home to the booming beach town of Jacó,  has been Costa Rica’s fastest-growing canton in the past decade. 

The census also analyzed how the housing sector changed in the past 11 years. The average number of people per household is decreasing. INEC data show that in 2000, an average of 4.1 people lived in a household; that number decreased in 2011 to 3.5.

Guanacaste is once again the province that showed the most significant increase in number of houses. In the coastal province, the housing growth index is 4.1 percent, a number that exceeds the national average of 2.5 percent. 

“This number, however, may be related to the increasing number of temporary housing built in tourist towns, which in most cases is only occupied during a short amount of time each year, and mostly by foreigners,” Solano said.

You may be interested

False information punishable by years in prison under proposed Nicaraguan law
Central America
1365 views
Central America
1365 views

False information punishable by years in prison under proposed Nicaraguan law

AFP - September 29, 2020

Deputies from Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's party on Monday proposed a law that would make spreading fake news on social…

Costa Rica learns opponents for upcoming Gold Cup
Costa Rica
4090 views
Costa Rica
4090 views

Costa Rica learns opponents for upcoming Gold Cup

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 29, 2020

CONCACAF on Monday announced the groups for the 2021 Gold Cup, the men's international soccer tournament for North America, Central…

Chirripó National Park to reopen October 30
Costa Rica
1708 views
Costa Rica
1708 views

Chirripó National Park to reopen October 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 28, 2020

Chirripó National Park will reopen for tourists on October 30, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced Monday. Visitors…