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Costa Rica (2001)

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Costa Rica 2001 year

 Costa Rica
Administrative divisions 7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
Age structure 0-14 years:
31.38% (male 605,728; female 578,128)

15-64 years:
63.37% (male 1,209,084; female 1,181,754)

65 years and over:
5.25% (male 92,314; female 106,049) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
Airports 152 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
7 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
95 (2000 est.)
Area total:
51,100 sq km

50,660 sq km

440 sq km

includes Isla del Coco
Area - comparative slightly smaller than West Virginia
Background Costa Rica is a Central American success story: since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its democratic development. Although still a largely agricultural country, it has achieved a relatively high standard of living. Land ownership is widespread. Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry.
Birth rate 20.27 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$1.95 billion

$2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital San Jose
Climate tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Coastline 1,290 km
Constitution 7 November 1949
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Costa Rica

conventional short form:
Costa Rica

local long form:
Republica de Costa Rica

local short form:
Costa Rica
Currency Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Death rate 4.3 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $4.2 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Thomas J. DODD

Calle 120 Avenida O, Pavas, San Jose

mailing address:
APO AA 34020

[506] 220-3939

[506] 220-2305
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Jaime DAREMBLUM Rosenstein

2114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 234-2945

[1] (202) 265-4795

consulate(s) general:
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco, St. Paul, and Tampa

Disputes - international legal dispute over navigational rights of Rio San Juan on border with Nicaragua
Economy - 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. However, traditional export sectors have not kept pace. Low coffee prices and an overabundance of bananas have hurt the agricultural sector. The government continues to grapple with its large deficit and massive internal debt and with the need to modernize the state-owned electricity and telecommunications sector.
Electricity - consumption 5.303 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 165 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 69 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 5.805 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



14.27% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m
Environment - current issues deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; water pollution (rivers); coastal marine pollution; wetlands degradation; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
Environment - international agreements party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified:
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%
Exchange rates Costa Rican colones per US dollar - 318.95 (2001), 308.19 (2000), 285.68 (1999), 257.23 (1998), 232.60 (1997), 207.69 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ (since 8 May 1998); First Vice President Astrid FISCHEL Volio (since 8 May 1998), Second Vice President Elizabeth ODIO Benito (since 8 May 1998); note - president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:
President Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ (since 8 May 1998); First Vice President Astrid FISCHEL Volio (since 8 May 1998), Second Vice President Elizabeth ODIO Benito (since 8 May 1998); note - president is both the chief of state and head of government

Cabinet selected by the president

president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 1 February 1998 (next to be held 3 February 2002)

election results:
Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ elected president; percent of vote - Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ (PUSC) 46.6%, Jose Miguel CORRALES (PLN) 44.6%
Exports 165 million kWh (1999)
Exports $6.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities coffee, bananas, sugar; pineapples; textiles, electronic components, medical equipment
Exports - partners US 54.1%, EU 21.3%, Central America 8.6% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms in a white disk on the hoist side of the red band
GDP purchasing power parity - $25 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


56.8% (1999)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 10 00 N, 84 00 W
Highways total:
37,273 km

7,827 km

29,446 km (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
34.7% (1996)
Illicit drugs transshipment country for cocaine and heroin from South America; illicit production of cannabis on small, scattered plots; domestic cocaine consumption is rising, particularly crack cocaine; those who previously only trafficked are now becoming users
Imports 69 million kWh (1999)
Imports $5.9 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum
Imports - partners US 56.4%, EU 9%, Mexico 5.4%, Japan 4.7%, (1999)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 4.3% (2000)
Industries microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Infant mortality rate 11.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 11% (2000 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 3 (of which only one is legal) (2000)
Irrigated land 1,200 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (22 justices are elected for eight-year terms by the Legislative Assembly)
Labor force 1.9 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 20%, industry 22%, services 58% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total:
639 km

border countries:
Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

12% (1993 est.)
Languages Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon
Legal system based on Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (57 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)

last held 1 February 1998 (next to be held 3 February 2002)

election results:
percent of vote by party - PUSC 41%, PLN 35%, minority parties 24%; seats by party - PUSC 27, PLN 23, minority parties 7
Life expectancy at birth total population:
76.02 years

73.49 years

78.68 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


95% (1995 est.)
Location Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,716 GRT/NA DWT

ships by type:
passenger 1 (2000 est.)
Military branches Coast Guard, Air Section, Ministry of Public Security Force (Fuerza Publica)

Costa Rica has no military, only domestic police forces, including the Coast Guard and Air Section
Military expenditures - dollar figure $69 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.6% (FY99)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
1,035,090 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
692,973 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
39,411 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun:
Costa Rican(s)

Costa Rican
Natural hazards occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes
Natural resources hydropower
Net migration rate 0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines petroleum products 176 km
Political parties and leaders Agricultural Labor Action or PALA [Carlos Alberto SOLIS Blanco]; Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC [Justo OROZCO]; Democratic Force Party or PFD [Jose M. NUNEZ]; Libertarian Movement Party or PML [Otto GUEVARA Guth]; National Christian Alliance Party or ANC [Alejandro MADRIGAL]; National Independent Party or PNI [Jorge GONZALEZ Marten]; National Integration Party or PIN [Walter MUNOZ Cespedes]; National Liberation Party or PLN [Sonia PICADO]; Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC [Luis Manuel CHACON]

mainly a two-party system - PUSC and PLN; numerous small parties share less than 25% of population's support
Political pressure groups and leaders Authentic Confederation of Democratic Workers or CATD (Communist Party affiliate); Chamber of Coffee Growers; Confederated Union of Workers or CUT (Communist Party affiliate); Costa Rican Confederation of Democratic Workers or CCTD (Liberation Party affiliate); Federation of Public Service Workers or FTSP; National Association for Economic Development or ANFE; National Association of Educators or ANDE; Rerum Novarum or CTRN (PLN affiliate) [Gilbert Brown]
Population 3,773,057 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 20.6% (1999 est.)
Population growth rate 1.65% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Caldera, Golfito, Moin, Puerto Limon, Puerto Quepos, Puntarenas
Radio broadcast stations AM 50, FM 43, shortwave 19 (1998)
Radios 980,000 (1997)
Railways total:
950 km

narrow gauge:
950 km 1.067-m gauge (260 km electrified) (2000)
Religions Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, other Protestant 0.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.87 male(s)/female

total population:
1.02 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment:
very good domestic telephone service

point-to-point and point-to-multi-point microwave, fiber-optic, and coaxial cable link rural areas; Internet service is available

connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); two submarine cables (1999)
Telephones - main lines in use 450,000 (1998)

584,000 installed in 1997, but only about 450,000 were in use 1998
Telephones - mobile cellular 143,000 (2000)
Television broadcast stations 6 (plus 11 repeaters) (1997)
Terrain coastal plains separated by rugged mountains
Total fertility rate 2.47 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 5.2% (2000 est.)
Waterways 730 km (seasonally navigable)
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