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Costa Rica Facts

Costa Rica Facts | Republic of Costa Rica Information | Costa Rica Statistics | Costa Rica

Costa Rica Facts |  Republic of Costa Rica Information | Costa Rica Statistics Costa Rica Facts |  Republic of Costa Rica Information | Costa Rica Statistics
South America Continent
 
Central America Map
 
Costa Rica Facts |  Republic of Costa Rica Information | Costa Rica Statistics Costa Rica Facts |  Republic of Costa Rica Information | Costa Rica Statistics
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COSTA RICAN Flag
 
 COSTA RICAN POLITICAL
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Background: Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
 
 
Common Name: Costa Rica Local Official Name: Costa Rica
Abbreviated Name: Republic of Costa Rica Official Name: Republica de Costa Rica
Official Script Name: Costa Rica Local Common Name: Costa Rica
Former Name: Costa Rica Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: President Oscar ARIAS Sanchez
 
Government Type: democratic republic
 
Independence: 1821 September 15 (from Spain)
 
Constitution: 1949 November 7
 
National Holiday: Independence Day, 15 September
 
International Organization Participation: BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
 
Administrative Divisions: 7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: based on Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
 
Suffrage: 18 years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: President Oscar ARIAS Sanchez (since 8 May 2006); First Vice President Laura CHINCHILLA (since 8 May 2006); Second Vice President Kevin CASAS Zamora (since 8 May 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Oscar ARIAS Sanchez (since 8 May 2006); First Vice President Laura CHINCHILLA (since 8 May 2006); Second Vice President Kevin CASAS Zamora (since 8 May 2006) cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held 5 February 2006 (next to be held February 2010) election results: Oscar ARIAS Sanchez elected president; percent of vote - Oscar ARIAS Sanchez (PLN) 40.9%; Otto SOLIS (PAC) 39.8%, Otto GUEVARA Guth (PML) 8%, Ricardo TOLEDO (PUSC) 3%; note - official results pending the resolution of election challenges Legislative Branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (57 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 5 February 2006 (next to be held February 2010) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLN 25, PAC 18, PML 6, PUSC 4, other 4 Judicial Branch: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (22 justices are elected for eight-year terms by the Legislative Assembly)
 
Party Leaders: Authentic Member from Heredia [Jose SALAS]; Citizen Action Party or PAC [Otton SOLIS]; Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC [Gerardo Justo OROZCO Alvarez]; Democratic Force Party or PFD [Vladimir DE LA CRUZ]; General Union Party or PUGEN [Carlos Alberto FERNANDEZ Vega]; Homeland First or PP [Juan Jose VARGAS Fallas]; Independent Worker Party or PIO [Jose Alberto CUBERO Carmona]; Libertarian Movement Party or PML [Otto GUEVARA Guth]; National Christian Alliance Party or ANC [Juan Carlos CHAVEZ Mora]; National Integration Party or PIN [Walter MUNOZ Cespedes]; National Liberation Party or PLN [Francisco Antonio PACHECO]; National Patriotic Party or PPN [Daniel Enrique REYNOLDS Vargas]; National Restoration Party or PRN [Carlos AVENDANO]; Nationalist Democratic Alliance or ADN [Jose Miguel VILLALOBOS Umana]; Patriotic Union or UP [Humberto ARCE Salas]; Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC [Lorena VASQUEZ Badilla]; Union for Change Party or UPC [Antonio ALVAREZ Desanti]; United Leftist Coalition or IU [Humberto VARGAS Carbonel]
 
International Disputes: in September 2005, Costa Rica took its case before the ICJ to advocate the navigation, security, and commercial rights of Costa Rican vessels using the Río San Juan over which Nicaragua retains sovereignty
 
Illicit Drugs: transshipment country for cocaine and heroin from South America; illicit production of cannabis on small, scattered plots; domestic cocaine consumption, particularly crack cocaine, is rising 
 
 
 COSTA RICAN GEOGRAPHY
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Location of Costa Rica: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
 
Continent: South America Land Area Total: 51,100 sq km 
Region: Central America Land Area Land: 50,660 sq km
Capitol City: San Jose Land Area Water: 440 sq km
      
Latitude: 010 00 N Border Boundary Land: 639 km
Longitude: 084 00 W Border Boundary Coastline: 1,290 km 
  
Arable Land: 4.40 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 5.87 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 3,810 m Location: Cerro Chirripo
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Pacific Ocean
  
Largest City in Costa Rica: San Jos San Jos Largest City Population: 964,000
  
Threatened Species: 166
 
Environmental Issues: deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
 
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
 
Irrigated Land: 1,080
 
Bordering Countries: Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km
 
Natural Resources: hydropower
 
Geographical Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes
 
Comparative Area of Costa Rica: slightly smaller than West Virginia
 
Costa Rica's Geography: four volcanoes, two of them active, rise near the capital of San Jose in the center of the country; one of the volcanoes, Irazu, erupted destructively in 1963-65
 

 COSTA RICAN CLIMATE
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General Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
 
Natural Hazards: occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes
 
 
 COSTA RICAN ECONOMY
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Economic Overview: Costa Rica's basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has been substantially reduced over the past 15 years, and a strong social safety net has been put into place. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and high education levels, and tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange. Low prices for coffee and bananas have hurt the agricultural sector. The government continues to grapple with its large internal and external deficits and sizable internal debt. The reduction of inflation remains a difficult problem because of rises in the price of imports, labor market rigidities, and fiscal deficits. The country also needs to reform its tax system and its pattern of public expenditure. Costa Rica is the only signatory to the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that has not ratified it. CAFTA implementation would result in economic reforms and an improved investment climate.
 
 
GDP: $45,670,000,000 USD Currency: Costa Rican colon
GDP per Capita: $11,400 USD Currency Code: CRC
GDP Growth Rate: 5.90 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: Costa Rican colones per US dollar - 477.79 (2005), 437.91 (2004), 398.66 (2003), 359.82 (2002), 328.87 (2001)
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 8.80 % GDP of Industry: 29.90 %
GDP of Services: 61.40 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 13.80 % Population in Poverty: 18.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 6.60 % Tourism: 1,032,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 1.10 % Budget Revenue in USD: $2,722,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 36.80 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $3,195,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 7,726,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 115,000,000 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 7,120,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 50,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 1.15% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 82.56% Other Electricity Production: 16.29%
   
Oil Production: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m
Oil Consumption: 40,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 0 cu m
   
External Debt: $5,049,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $0 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
   
Agricultural Products: coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
 
Primary Industries: microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 5.70 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $9,690,000,000 USD - raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum
 
Import Partners: US 41.3%, Japan 5.6%, Venezuela 4.8%, Mexico 4.8%, Ireland 4.3%, Brazil 4.2%, China 4.2%
 
Export Amount in USD: $7,005,000,000 USD - coffee, bananas, sugar, pineapples; textiles, electronic components, medical equipment
 
Export Partners: US 42.6%, Hong Kong 6.9%, Netherlands 6.4%, Guatemala 4.2%
 
    
GINI Index: 46.50%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 1
 
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture 20%, industry 22%, services 58%
 
  
 COSTA RICAN COMMUNICATIONS
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Radio Broadcast Stations: 135 Number of People with Radios: 980,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 20 Number of People with Televisions: 525,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 1,388,500 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 1,101,000
 
Internet Service Providers: 12,751 Internet Users: 1,000,000
 
Internet Country Code: .cr Newspapers: 94
Two Letter Country Code: CS Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 506 Electricity Voltage: 120 Volts
  
Telephone Systems: general assessment: good domestic telephone service in terms of breadth of coverage; restricted cellular telephone service domestic: point-to-point and point-to-multi-point microwave, fiber-optic, and coaxial cable link rural areas; Internet service is available international: country code - 506; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); two submarine cables
 
  
 COSTA RICAN TRANSPORTATION
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Highways: 8,075 km Railways: 278 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 242 km Waterways: 730 km
Airports: 32 Heliports: 0
 
Motor Vehicles: 126 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 4,965,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 1.30 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,308 GRT/743 DWT by type: passenger/cargo 2
 
Ports and Harbors: Caldera, Puerto Limon
 
  
 COSTA RICAN PEOPLE
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Population: 4,075,261 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 18.32 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 82.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 4.36 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 1.45% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 2.24 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 590,261 Population Female 0-14: 563,196
Population Male 15-64: 1,359,750 Population Female 15-64: 1,329,346
Population Male 65+: 108,041 Population Female 65+: 124,667
 
Population 0-14: 28.30% Literacy Rate: 96.00%
Population 15-64: 66.00% Literacy rate of Males: 95.90%
Population 65+: 5.70% Literacy rate of Females: 96.10%
 
Population that is Male: 52.50 % Population that is Female: 47.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 77.02 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 9.70 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 74.43 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 79.74 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.60% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 12,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 900
   
Disease Risk:
 
Diseases:
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.49
 
Nationality: COSTA RICAN
 
Ethnic Groups: white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1% 
 
  
Primary Language: Spanish
 
Other Languages: Spanish (official), English
 
 
Primary Religion: Roman Catholic
 
Other Religions: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
 
  
 COSTA RICAN MILITARY
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Branches: no regular military forces; Ministry of Public Security, Government, and Police
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 18 years
 
Manpower Available: 1,965,980 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 1,639,217 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 80,340 People per year
 
Expenditures: $0 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 0.40
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
 COSTA RICAN RESOURCES
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