Costa Rica Quick Facts & Stats

Costa Rica Quick Facts & Stats

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You might know that Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but there are dozens of other interesting facts and statistics that most visitors don’t know. Before you book your Costa Rica vacation, why not brush up on this handy list of facts?


• Costa Rica is around the same size as Lake Michigan, and slightly smaller than West Virginia.
• The U.S. is roughly 181 times larger than Costa Rica.
• Costa Rica has more than 800 miles of coastline.
• The highest mountain in Costa Rica, Cerro Chirripo, stands at 3,810 meters above sea level.
• Although not all of them are active, Costa Rica has around 200 volcanoes.
• Costa Rica is home to approximately 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, but only occupies around 0.3 percent of the planet’s surface.
• Poas Volcano in central Costa Rica has the second-largest volcanic crater in the world, and Arenal Volcano is one of the 10 most seismically active volcanoes on the planet.
• Noted explorer Christopher Columbus first visited what is now Costa Rica in 1502.
• Spanish colonists first established a permanent presence in Costa Rica in 1563.
• After a short-lived civil war, Costa Rica’s constitution was passed in 1949.
• Costa Rica hasn’t had a national army since 1948.

The People

• Costa Rica has a population of around 4.7 million people – a little more than half the population of New York City.
• Religion plays an important role in Costa Rica’s culture, with approximately 76 percent of Costa Ricans identifying as Catholic.
• Less than 1 percent of Costa Rica’s population is of indigenous ancestry, and around 94 percent of Costa Ricans are of European heritage.
• Spanish and English are the two most commonly spoken languages in Costa Rica
• Costa Rica has a literacy rate of 94.9 percent, one of the highest in the world.

Flora and Fauna

• There are more than 34,000 species of insect in Costa Rica, and more than 20,000 species of spider.
• Costa Rica is home to more than 10 percent of all the species of butterfly in the world.
Costa Rica has around 615 species of animal per 10,000 square miles. By comparison, the U.S. has 104.
• Certain species of crocodile, many of which can be found in Costa Rica’s rivers, can measure up to 16 feet in length.

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