The cantons of Garabito, which includes Jacó, and Santa Ana grew the fastest over the last 10 years, according to the preliminary report of the national census that was released Tuesday.
Garabito grew 4.7 percent in the 10 years, and Santa Ana grew 3.2 percent, said the Nacional de Estadística y Censos.
Santa Cruz, Liberia and San Pablo also registered significant growth, about 2.7 percent. Other growth areas were Flores and Aguirre (Quepos) with 2.6 percent each, Parrita with 2.5 percent, Orotina with 2.4 percent and San Carlos with 2.3 percent, according to the initial figures.
In contrast, the cantons of Tibás, San José, Coto Brus, Montes de Oca (San Pedro), León Cortés, Jiménez, Limón, Dota and Curridabat showed slight declines in population ranging from .6 percent to 1 percent, said the census.
Over the last decade, the total Costa Rican population experienced a growth of 491,533 people, from 3,810,179 inhabitants in 2000 to 4,301,712 in 2011, according to the census. Of the country´s inhabitants, 49 percent were men and 51 percent were women.
The study confirmed that the province of San José had the highest concentration of inhabitants: 1,403,963 representing 32.6 percent of the total population.
Guanacaste was the fastest growing province with an average of 1.9 percent annually, although it remains the least populated with 326,821 inhabitants.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica´s average annual growth rate declined from 2.8 percent in the 1984 to 2000 period to 1.1 percent in the 2000 to 2011 period. The institute attributed this result to the steady decline in fertility levels in the last decade, which was 19.9 births per 1,000 inhabitants in 2000 compared to 15.5 births per 1,000 in 2011.