Immigration to Costa Rica

As of the 2011 census, the number of immigrants in Costa Rica totaled about 390,000 individuals, or about 9% of the country’s population.[1][2] Following a considerable drop from 1950 through 1980, immigration to Costa Rica has increased in recent decades.

The ethnic composition of Costa Rica consists mostly of people of European origin, with a large population of Mestizos and numerically fewer black and indigenous people.

total foreign population 2012[1]
Place. Country. Numbers.
1  Nicaragua 287 766
2  Colombia 16 514
3  United States 15 898
4  Panama 11 250
5  El Salvador 9 424
6  Venezuela  3 886
7  Cuba 3 860
8  Honduras 3 778
9  Peru 3 404
10  China 3 281
11  Mexico 3 059
12  Guatemala 2 573
13  Spain  1 806
14  Argentina 1 786
15  Canada  1 679
16  Italy 1 494
17  Dominican Republic 1 475
18  Germany 1 412
19  Chile 1 364
20  Ecuador 1 040
21  France 936
22  Taiwan 797
23  Brazil 605
24   Switzerland 551
25  England 503
26  Netherlands 434
27  Russia 429
28  Uruguay 356
29  Bolivia 331
30  South Korea 263
31  Belgium 254
32  Puerto Rico 245

. . . Immigration to Costa Rica . . .

Immigration to Costa Rica has caused some social problems. Although most people enter the country to seek better employment opportunities, some immigrants have been involved in criminal activities. The government of Costa Rica has tried to stop the illegal immigration of Nicaraguans and to deport those already living in Costa Rica. However, the government has also initiated programs to promote economic prosperity for the poorest immigrant populations, also hailing from Nicaragua. There are also a number of political refugees who have sought asylum from persecution in Costa Rica.[3]

The largest immigrant communities are from Nicaragua (74.6%), Colombia (4.3%), the United States (4.1%), Panama (2.9%) and El Salvador (2.4%). The remaining 11.7% are of other nationalities, with significant communities from China (3,281 people), Cuba (3,860 people), Honduras (3,778 people), Peru (3,404 people) and Venezuela (3,886 people).[1] Many Europeans have immigrated to Costa Rica in recent years, especially Spaniards, Bulgarians, Russians, Ukrainians, Swiss and Swedish. There are also many Asian (Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese) immigrants. Immigrants may be attracted by political stability, an alternative way of life and a mild climate.

Of the 16,000 Americans in the country, around half of them are under the age of 29. They mainly live in San José, Pérez Zeledón, Escazú, Alajuela, Santa Ana and Santa Cruz. American immigrants work in the fields of education, commerce, tourism, and administrative activities. About half of these immigrants have dual citizenship.[4]

. . . Immigration to Costa Rica . . .

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. . . Immigration to Costa Rica . . .

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