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Costa Rican American


Costa Rican American

Costa Rican American
Total population

0.05% of the U.S. population (2012)[1]

Location of Costa Rica
Regions with significant populations
New York Metro Area, Greater Los Angeles, South Florida
American English, Spanish
Predominantly Roman Catholic, minority Protestant

A Costa Rican American (Spanish: costarrico-americano, norteamericanos de origen costarricense or estadounidenses de origen costarricense) are Americans of Costa Rican descent.

The Costa Rican population at the 2010 Census was 126,418. Costa Ricans are the fourth smallest Hispanic group in the United States and the smallest Central American population.

Costa Rican populations are prominent in the New York Metropolitan Area, especially in North Central New Jersey (Essex County, NJ, Passaic County, NJ, Somerset County, NJ, and Union County, NJ). Additional areas with significant Costa Rican residents include New York City, Suffolk County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT. There are also sizable groups of Costa Ricans in Los Angeles Metro, Miami Metro, and Lincoln County, NC.


  • History 1
  • Culture 2
  • Demographics 3
    • List of Costa Rican American communities 3.1
    • States 3.2
    • Areas 3.3
    • US communities with largest population of people of Costa Rican ancestry 3.4
    • US communities with high percentages of people of Costa Rican ancestry 3.5
  • List of Costa Rican Americans 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


There have never been waves of migration from Costa Rica to the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service records indicate that very few Costa Ricans have actually tried to enter the country illegally. This is because, unlike other Hispanic groups, they have not been forced to emigrate to the U.S. for political oppression or extreme economic circumstances.

Most Costa Ricans living in the United States have settled in the U.S. for any of the following reasons: they have married American citizens and decided to move to the U.S.; they were raised by their families in the United States; they have been hired to work in the United States after completing a degree from an American university; they have found research opportunities that may not be as readily available in their country, or they have come to various jobs and trades in the United States.

Since 1931 only 57,661 Costa Ricans have immigrated to the United States. Hence, the number of Costa Rican emigrants has been increasing very slowly. This is a very different from the pattern of emigration from most other Central American countries. In fact, the other two countries in this region that have a continuously slow rate of emigration are Belize and Panama.[2]


Costa Ricans tend to either blend in the English-speaking population or form working and friendly relationships with other Hispanics, celebrating with them when the occasion arises. Most of Costa Rican Americans maintain their heritage, but they also tend to integrate and adjust to their environment quickly, especially if they want to join a church or if they have children in the public school system. If both parents speak Spanish, chances are that the children will be raised bilingually.[2]

However, if only one parent speaks Spanish, the children will usually grow up speaking only English. Since Costa Ricans did not suffer ethnic persecution during the colonial period, nor did they have a violent war of independence, they are not as self-conscious about their ethnicity as other Hispanic groups. Therefore, they usually acculturate and assimilate rather rapidly.[2]


The most of Costa Ricans that live in United States live in California, Florida, Texas, and the New York City / New Jersey area. The areas with the largest Costa Rican populations, in according to the latter reports, are: Los Angeles and its surrounding areas (23,625), New York City area (including parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, and Long Island (12,985)), Miami and surrounding areas (in the Hialeah) and in Fort Lauderdale) (9,987) and in the Houston and Galveston area of Texas (2,534).

There is a significant Costa Rican American population in the Chicago, Illinois, and Gary, Indiana, areas (1,845). The geographical preferences of Costa Ricans become evident in the statistics from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, as consistent with the findings of the 1990 census.

List of Costa Rican American communities

This are lists that indicated the most largest population of Costa Rican Americans according states, residence areas and percentages.


The 10 states with the largest population of Costa Ricans (Source: 2010 Census):

  1. California - 22,469
  2. Florida - 20,761
  3. New Jersey - 19,993
  4. New York - 11,576
  5. Texas - 6,982
  6. North Carolina - 4,658
  7. Georgia - 3,114
  8. Pennsylvania - 3,048
  9. Massachusetts - 2,951
  10. Connecticut - 2,767


The largest population of Costa Ricans are situated in the following areas (Source: Census 2010):

  1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA - 27,394
  2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA - 11,528
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA - 11,371
  4. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA - 3,207
  5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA - 3,125
  6. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA - 2,717
  7. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA - 2,617
  8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA - 2,433
  9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA - 2,372
  10. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH MSA - 2,330
  11. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA MSA - 2,321
  12. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA - 2,296
  13. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA - 2,292
  14. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT MSA - 2,025
  15. Trenton-Ewing, NJ MSA - 1,801
  16. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA - 1,749
  17. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA - 1,618
  18. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC MSA - 1,263
  19. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ MSA - 1,200
  20. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA - 1,027

US communities with largest population of people of Costa Rican ancestry

The top 25 US communities with the highest populations of Costa Ricans (Source: Census 2010)

  1. New York, NY - 6,673
  2. Los Angeles, CA - 3,182
  3. Trenton, NJ - 1,279
  4. Paterson, NJ - 1,241
  5. Bound Brook, NJ - 1,229
  6. Miami, FL - 1,197
  7. Norwalk, CT - 1,024
  8. Summit, NJ - 990
  9. Houston, TX - 923
  10. Philadelphia, PA - 903
  11. San Diego, CA - 723
  12. Chicago, IL - 681
  13. Charlotte, NC - 673
  14. Elizabeth, NJ - 660
  15. Boston, MA - 652
  16. Somerville, NJ - 627
  17. Manville, NJ - 576
  18. Jacksonville, FL - 542
  19. San Francisco, CA - 487
  20. Bridgeport, CT - 478
  21. Hialeah, FL - 476
  22. Long Beach, CA - 467
  23. Dallas, TX - 462
  24. Newark, NJ - 444
  25. Lincolnton, NC - 431

US communities with high percentages of people of Costa Rican ancestry

The top 25 US communities with the highest percentages of Costa Ricans as a percent of total population (Source: Census 2010)

  1. Bound Brook, NJ - 11.82%
  2. Finderne, NJ - 6.43%
  3. Manville, NJ - 5.57%
  4. Somerville, NJ - 5.18%
  5. Summit, NJ - 4.61%
  6. Raritan, NJ - 4.16%
  7. Lincolnton, NC - 4.11%
  8. South Bound Brook, NJ - 3.09%
  9. Hampton Bays, NY - 2.98%
  10. Victory Gardens, NJ - 2.50%
  11. Clinton, NJ - 2.21%
  12. Delaware, NJ[3] - 2.00%
  13. Belle Mead, NJ - 1.85%
  14. New Providence, NJ - 1.79%
  15. Dover, NJ - 1.73%
  16. Tuckahoe (Suffolk County), NY - 1.68%
  17. Prospect Park, NJ - 1.60%
  18. Flemington, NJ - 1.53%
  19. Trenton, NJ - 1.51%
  20. Maiden, NC - 1.39%
  21. Weston, NJ - 1.21%
  22. Westwood, NJ - 1.21%
  23. Norwalk, CT - 1.20%
  24. Bridgehampton, NY - 1.20%
  25. Lake Como, NJ - 1.19%

List of Costa Rican Americans

See also


  1. ^ a b US Census Bureau 2012 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved September 20, 2013
  2. ^ a b c Every culture of World. by Cida S. Chase. Retrieved the November 14, 2011, at 22:31 pm.
  3. ^ QT-P10 Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010
  4. ^ "Introducing Heather Hemmens". Latina Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ EXCLUSIVE: Heather Hemmens: "I Have This Skin Tone That's Kind of Unidentifiable But It's Great

External links

  • Costa Rican Americans - Overview, History, Modern era, Costa ricans in the united states, Settlement
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