In many respects, the welfare of Costa Rica
is at the same level as in the world's rich countries.
The foundations for the welfare state were laid in the
1940s, when a social insurance system was introduced.
Nowadays, all income earners and their families are
covered by a well-developed welfare system that
includes, among other things, sickness and accident
insurance as well as pensions.
Virtually all Costa Ricans also have access to health
centers, and hospital care is also of a high standard.
Child mortality is low.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Costa Rica, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
At the same time, there is a change towards greater
social stratification. Since the turn of the millennium,
Costa Rica has been one of the countries in Latin
America where the social gaps in society have increased
most. Economic growth has largely benefited the wealthy.
Every fifth Costa Rican is considered poor and around
6 percent of the residents are considered extremely
poor. It is mainly in rural areas that poverty exists.
Same-sex marriage is allowed since 2020.
A large proportion of the Costa Ricans live much like
the majority in the western countries. The middle class
makes up a larger proportion of the population than in
most Latin American countries. Culturally, Costa Rica
takes a lot after the US. The middle and upper classes
live mainly in the metropolitan area on the central
plateau. Most live in single-family homes. The
better-off people stay with at least one car and often
have home help - not least a Nicaraguan woman. The lower
middle class lives under simpler conditions.
On the outskirts of the big cities, there are
slum-like areas, although they are neither as bleak nor
widespread as in many other places in Latin America. The
beggars are relatively few. In the countryside people
are generally poorer than in the cities, but pretty much
everyone has at least water and drains in the home. An
exception is the small minority of indigenous people.
They mostly live in or near a reserve and often lack
access to both electricity and water as well as school
and medical care.
The Costa Ricans are more typically Latin American in
that family and family are a central part of life. You
spend a lot of time in the family and often live
together or close to each other. Children are everyone's
concern and you "get a lot" with them when they are
young. Slightly larger children can count on promises
from many directions. Young people - especially in the
middle and upper classes - live as in the West in terms
of dating, music and clothing. Family gatherings are
important events. Girls' 15th birthday is celebrated
especially with a big party.
The position of women is better than in many
countries in the region. The macho culture is a little
more subdued, although it is not possible to escape the
typical comments on the street. There are plenty of
women in business and politics. Little as in Sweden,
there is a collective notion that equality and equal
opportunities are somewhat positive, even though the
class differences are greater than with us.
Many Costa Rican people were obviously proud when the
country elected its first female president, Laura
Chinchilla, in 2010. But inequality and discrimination
do exist. Women serve poorer than men and are still
largely responsible for the care of children and homes.
Domestic violence is common. Abortion is only allowed in
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
8 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.4 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
99.7 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
97.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
8.1 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 889 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
46 percent (2018)