Costa Rica

Map of Costa Rica

The country has an area of 19,730 square miles and a population of 4.5 million, according to the National Institute of Census and Statistics. The most recent countrywide survey of religion, conducted in 2008 by the University of Costa Rica, found that 43.3 percent of the population identify themselves as practicing Roman Catholics, 31.2 percent nonpracticing Catholics, 15.2 percent evangelical Protestants, 5.7 percent report no religious affiliation, and 4.4 percent declare "another religion."
Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, and other Protestant groups have significant membership. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) claims membership of 35,000 and has a temple in San Jose that serves the country and Panama. The Lutheran Church estimates it has 5,500 members in 30 communities (1,320 active members), and the Jewish Zionist Center of Costa Rica estimates there are 2,500 Orthodox Jews and 300 Reform Jews. An estimated 1,000 Quakers are found in the cloud forest reserve of Monteverde, Puntarenas, and an additional 1,000 attend Quaker meetings as nonmembers throughout the country. Although they represent fewer than 1 percent of the population, Jehovah's Witnesses have a strong presence on the Caribbean coast. Seventh-day Adventists operate a university that attracts students from throughout the Caribbean Basin. The Unification Church has its continental headquarters for Latin America in San Jose. Other groups, including followers of Islam, Taoism, Krishna Consciousness, Scientology, Tenrikyo, and the Baha'i Faith, claim membership throughout the country, with the majority of worshippers residing in the Central Valley (the area that includes San Jose). While there is no general correlation between religious affiliation and ethnicity, indigenous peoples are more likely to practice animism than other religions.

Population Population (2009 est.) 4,253,877
Religious Demographics Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%
Languages Languages Spanish (official), English
Country Flag Flag of Costa Rica