If you check the most recent Deaths of U.S. Citizens Abroad statistics compiled by the US Department of State from October 2002 – June 2009 you will see that various forms of accidents are the number one cause of non-natural death for US citizens in Costa Rica, followed by drownings.

During that nearly seven year period October 2002 – June 2009, 172 US citizens died in Costa Rica of non-natural deaths, 48 of them drowned, 65 of them died in car/motorcycle/air and ‘other’ accidents.

There were 23 suicides and only 23 homicides and it should be noted that a few of them were murdered by fellow Americans…

So during that time 108% more Americans died by drowning than were murdered, 182% more Americans died in accidents than were murdered and sadly, as many Americans killed themselves as were murdered.

Many Costa Ricans have also drowned but since they live here and understand the climate and possibilities of flooding and other natural disasters they tend to be more aware of the dangers.

Tourists often tend to leave-their-brains-on-the-plane and do things that they probably would not do back home when they do, they unfortunately encounter some deadly problems.

Costa Rica Mortality Rates

From a local perspective, the Atlas de mortalidad por todas las causas report documents all causes (todas las causes) of deaths in Costa Rica during the 2000-2007 period and, was published as part of the Proyecto de Investigacíon Farmacoeconomía del Centro de Poblacíon de la Universidad de Costa Rica.

As expected, cardiovascular diseases (28%) and various forms of cancer are the main causes of death. Cancer deaths have increased by 8% since 1970, respiratory ailments declined by 6% and although diarrhea caused 13% of deaths in Costa Rica in 1970, today that number has thankfully declined to only 0.2%

It is difficult to read the exact percentage of people who were murdered which is listed here on this chart as homicidios but it’s far less than the number of people who die each year of infections, diabetes and cirrhosis.

Our thanks to our friends at La Nación – Costa Rica’s largest Spanish circulation newspaper for their permission to include their chart.

Written by Scott Oliver, author of 1. Costa Rica Real Estate Scams & How To Avoid Them, 2. How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa, 3. Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore and the Director of Costa Rica Living & Retirement – Secrets To Happiness, a new DVD which reveals all with 14 in depth interviews…

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