Boasting the best education levels in Central America and home to over 50 private universities, San José is the capital city of the Republic of Costa Rica.
Mercer’s 2016 Cost of Living rankings benchmark how much a new resident in a city has to pay for products compared to New York using the US dollar as the base currency. For 2016, San José ranks as the 94th costliest city for newly relocated citizens, up 16 places from 2015 when Mercer recognized San José, Costa Rica as the world’s 110th most expensive city.
Costa Rica ranks among the 90 top exporters, shipping an estimated US$9.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016. Highest-value Costa Rican exports include medical or veterinarian equipment, bananas, pineapples, miscellaneous food preparations and coffee according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for San José, Costa Rica: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: National Theater of Costa Rica, National Artisanal Market, Metropolitan Church and the Correos de Costa Rica building
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in San José, Costa Rica:
- Anastasia Acosta, actress (born Oct. 18, 1974)
- Luis Marín, soccer/football national captain (born Aug. 10, 1974)
- Carlos Hernández, Olympic soccer/football player (born Apr. 9, 1982)
- Christal Clashing, Olympic swimmer (born Sep. 8, 1989)
- Daniel Zovatto, actor (born Jun. 28, 1991)
- Giannina Facio, actress & producer (born Sep. 10, 1955)
- Maribel Guardia, actress, model & singer (born May 29, 1959)
- Mauricio Castillo, soccer/football player (born Jun. 19, 1987)
- Luis Aguilar, Olympic swimmer (born Sep. 14, 1952)
- Rafael Pérez, Olympic marathon runner (born Jul. 3, 1946)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a San José resident: Josefino (male), Josefina (female)
Population: 333,981 (San José municipality)
Density: 19,384 people per square mile (7,484 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,720,000 (San José built-up urban area)
Density: 10,750 people per square mile (4,151 per square kilometer)
Population: 4,872,543 (Costa Rica)
Density: 247 people per square mile (95 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$74.9 billion in 2015 (for Costa Rica, per CIA World Factbook)
GDP per person: $15,500
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for San José were unavailable.
Official currency used in San José: Costa Rican colón
Atlas & Boots, The World’s Most Expensive Cities for Expats 2016. Accessed on August 11, 2017
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on August 11, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Central America & Caribbean: Costa Rica . Accessed on August 11, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on August 11, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on August 11, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on August 11, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 17, 2017
Mercer, 2016 Cost of Living Rankings. Accessed on August 11, 2017
Official Government Website, Municipality of San José. Accessed on August 11, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on August 11, 2017
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Costa Rica. Accessed on August 11, 2017
Wikipedia, Greater Metropolitan Area (Costa Rica). Accessed on August 11, 2017
Wikipedia, San José, Costa Rica. Accessed on August 11, 2017
San José’s municipal land area measures 17.2 square miles (44.2 square kilometers), and served as home to an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015.
Adding in the urban agglomeration in San José’s vicinity results in a total area of 160 square miles (414 square kilometers) with a people count of about 1.7 million inhabitants for municipal San José and its built-up urban area.
Overall, Costa Rica has a population of approximately 4.9 million people. The Central American country has a land area spanning 19,714 square miles (51,060 square kilometers).
Population density is highest within San José’s municipal city limits, based on its average 19,400 residents per square mile (7,500 per square kilometer). Density diminishes to an average 10,800 people per square mile (4,200 per square kilometer) after the urban agglomeration in immediately surrounding is factored in.
From a national perspective, population density averages 247 Costa Ricans per square mile (95 per square kilometer) for the Central American nation as a whole.
Costa Rica separated from Spain on September 15, 1821. Costa Ricans celebrate Independence Day as a public holiday each September 15.