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Costa Rica (2003)

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 Costa Rica
Administrative divisions 7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
Age structure 0-14 years: 30.1% (male 600,812; female 573,375)

15-64 years: 64.4% (male 1,269,667; female 1,241,097)

65 years and over: 5.4% (male 98,156; female 112,985) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
Airports 151 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 30

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 19

under 914 m: 8 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 121

914 to 1,523 m: 28

under 914 m: 93 (2002)
Area total: 51,100 sq km

land: 50,660 sq km

water: 440 sq km

note: 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 expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism sectors. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
Birth rate 19.4 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.91 billion

expenditures: $2.35 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 4.31 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $4.8 billion (2002 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador John J. DANILOVICH

embassy: Calle 120 Avenida O, Pavas, San Jose

mailing address: APO AA 34020

telephone: [506] 220-3939

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

chancery: 2114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 234-2945

FAX: [1] (202) 265-4795

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

consulate(s): Austin
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. At the same time, distribution of income remains severely unequal. 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, with the need to modernize the state-owned electricity and telecommunications sector, and with the problem of bringing down inflation.
Electricity - consumption 6.109 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 379 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 128 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 6.839 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 1.5%

hydro: 81.9%

nuclear: 0%

other: 16.6% (2001)
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; coastal marine pollution; 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 - 359.82 (2002), 328.87 (2001), 308.19 (2000), 285.69 (1999), 257.23 (1998)
Executive branch chief of state: President Abel PACHECO (since 8 May 2002); First Vice President Lineth SABORIO (since NA May 2002); Second Vice President Luis FISHMAN (since NA May 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Abel PACHECO (since 8 May 2002); First Vice President Lineth SABORIO (since NA May 2002); Second Vice President Luis FISHMAN (since NA May 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president

elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 3 February 2002; run-off election held 7 April 2002 (next to be held NA February 2006)

election results: Abel PACHECO elected president; percent of vote - Abel PACHECO (PUSC) 58%; Rolando ARAYA (PLN) 42%
Exports 379 million kWh (2001)
Exports $5.1 billion (2002)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities coffee, bananas, sugar; pineapples; textiles, electronic components, medical equipment
Exports - partners US 31.5%, Netherlands 8.9%, UK 4.5% (2002)
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 elliptical disk on the hoist side of the red band; above the coat of arms a light blue ribbon contains the words, AMERICA CENTRAL, and just below it near the top of the coat of arms is a white ribbon with the words, REPUBLICA COSTA RICA
GDP purchasing power parity - $32 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 9%

industry: 30%

services: 61% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $8,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.8% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 10 00 N, 84 00 W
Geography - note 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
Highways total: 35,892 km

paved: 7,896 km

unpaved: 27,996 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 34.6% (2001)
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
Imports 128 million kWh (2001)
Imports $6.4 billion (2002)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum
Imports - partners US 36.7%, Japan 4.4%, Mexico 4.2% (2002)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 2.9% (2002 est.)
Industries microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Infant mortality rate total: 10.56 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 11.49 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9.1% (2002 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 3 (of which only one is legal) (2000)
Irrigated land 1,260 sq km (1998 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: 4.41%

permanent crops: 5.48%

other: 90.11% (1998 est.)
Languages Spanish (official), English
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)

elections: last held 3 February 2002 (next to be held 3 February 2006)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PUSC 19, PLN 17, PAC 14, PML 6, PRC 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 76.43 years

male: 73.87 years

female: 79.11 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96%

male: 95.9%

female: 96.1% (2003 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 continental shelf: 200 NM

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

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

ships by type: passenger 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches no regular indigenous military forces; Air Section, Ministry of Public Forces (Fuerza Publica)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $69 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.6% (FY99)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 1,080,254 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 722,043 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 41,453 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun: Costa Rican(s)

adjective: 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 0.51 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines refined products 421 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders Agricultural Labor Action or PALA [Carlos Alberto SOLIS Blanco]; Citizen Action Party or PAC [Otton SOLIS]; 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]

note: mainly a two-party system - PUSC and PLN - until the 3 February 2002 election in which the PAC captured a significant percentage, forcing a run-off in April 2002
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 3,896,092 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 20.6% (1999 est.)
Population growth rate 1.56% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Caldera, Golfito, Moin, Puerto Limon, Puerto Quepos, Puntarenas
Radio broadcast stations AM 50, FM 43, shortwave 19 (1998)
Railways total: 950 km

narrow gauge: 950 km 1.067-m gauge (260 km electrified) (2002)
Religions Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, 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 (2003 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment: very good domestic 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: 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)

note: 584,000 installed in 1997, but only about 450,000 were in use in 1998
Telephones - mobile cellular 143,000 (2000)
Television broadcast stations 6 (plus 11 repeaters) (1997)
Terrain coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes
Total fertility rate 2.38 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 6.3% (2002 est.)
Waterways 730 km (seasonally navigable)
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