Main page Compare countries Index countries Index fields


Costa Rica (2008)

Costa Rica - select year:
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2001) (compare)
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2002) (compare)
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2003) (compare)
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2004) (compare)
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2005) (compare)
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2006) (compare)
Costa RicaCosta Rica (2007) (compare)

Compare with other popular countries

Costa Rica 2008 year

 Costa Rica
Administrative divisions 7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
Age structure 0-14 years: 27.8% (male 587,395/female 560,408)

15-64 years: 66.4% (male 1,388,114/female 1,357,157)

65 years and over: 5.8% (male 111,758/female 129,052) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
Airports 151 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 36

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 21

under 914 m: 11 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 115

914 to 1,523 m: 19

under 914 m: 96 (2007)
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 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.
Birth rate 18.02 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $3.572 billion

expenditures: $3.843 billion (2007 est.)
Capital name: San Jose

geographic coordinates: 9 56 N, 84 05 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
Death rate 4.39 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $7.163 billion (30 June 2007)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Mark LANGDALE

embassy: Calle 120 Avenida O, Pavas, San Jose

mailing address: APO AA 34020

telephone: [506] 519-2000

FAX: [506] 519-2305
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Tomas DUENAS

chancery: 2114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 234-2945

FAX: [1] (202) 265-4795

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Hammond (temporary location in Louisiana), Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa (temporarily closed), Washington, DC

consulate(s): San Francisco
Disputes - international 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
Economic aid - recipient $29.51 million (2005)
Economy - overview Costa Rica's basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has remained at roughly 20% for nearly 20 years, and the strong social safety net that had been put into place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures. Immigration from Nicaragua has increasingly become a concern for the government. The estimated 300,000-500,000 Nicaraguans estimated to be in Costa Rica legally and illegally are an important source of (mostly unskilled) labor, but also place heavy demands on the social welfare system. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and high education levels, as well as the fiscal incentives offered in the free-trade zones. Exports have become more diversified in the past 10 years due to the growth of the high-tech manufacturing sector, which is dominated by the microprocessor industry. Tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange, as Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity makes it a key destination for ecotourism. The government continues to grapple with its large internal and external deficits and sizable internal debt. Reducing inflation remains a difficult problem because of rising import prices, labor market rigidities, and fiscal deficits. Tax and public expenditure reforms will be necessary to close the budget gap. In October 2007, a national referendum voted in favor of the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). CAFTA implementation needs to be completed by March 1, 2008 and would result in an improved investment climate.
Electricity - consumption 7.776 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 70 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 81 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 8.349 billion kWh (2005)
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, 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
Ethnic groups white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%
Exchange rates Costa Rican colones per US dollar - 519.53 (2007), 511.3 (2006), 477.79 (2005), 437.91 (2004), 398.66 (2003)
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 (vacant); 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 (vacant)

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 in February 2010)

election results: Oscar ARIAS Sanchez elected president; percent of vote - Oscar ARIAS Sanchez (PLN) 40.9%; Otton SOLIS (PAC) 39.8%, Otto GUEVARA Guth (PML) 8%, Ricardo TOLEDO (PUSC) 3%
Exports 70 million kWh (2005)
Exports $9.232 billion (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 2,998 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
Exports - partners US 27.5%, Netherlands 12.2%, China 11.7%, UK 6.2%, Mexico 5.8% (2006)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 8.6%

industry: 29.4%

services: 62.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6.1% (2007 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
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1%

highest 10%: 37.4% (2003)
Illicit drugs transshipment country for cocaine and heroin from South America; illicit production of cannabis in remote areas; domestic cocaine consumption, particularly crack cocaine, is rising; significant consumption of amphetamines
Imports 81 million kWh (2005)
Imports $11.84 billion (2007 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 43,640 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
Imports - partners US 41.2%, Venezuela 5.4%, Mexico 5.2%, Ireland 5%, Japan 4.9%, Brazil 4.3%, China 4.1% (2006)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 7% (2007 est.)
Industries microprocessors, food processing, medical equipment, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Infant mortality rate total: 9.45 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 10.32 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9.3% (2007 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 1,080 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (22 justices are elected for renewable eight-year terms by the Legislative Assembly)
Labor force 1.946 million

note: this official estimate excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 14%

industry: 22%

services: 64% (2006 est.)
Land boundaries total: 639 km

border countries: Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km
Land use arable land: 4.4%

permanent crops: 5.87%

other: 89.73% (2005)
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 5 February 2006 (next to be held in February 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLN 25, PAC 17, PML 6, PUSC 5, PASE 1, PFA 1, PRN 1, PUN 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.21 years

male: 74.61 years

female: 79.94 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96%

male: 95.9%

female: 96.1% (2003 est.)
Location Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 1,058 GRT/255 DWT

by type: passenger/cargo 1 (2007)
Military branches no regular military forces; Ministry of Public Security, Government, and Police (2006)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.4% (2006)
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 0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Pipelines refined products 242 km (2007)
Political parties and leaders Authentic Member from Heredia [Jose SALAS]; Citizen Action Party or PAC [Epsy CAMPBELL Barr]; Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC [Gerardo Justo OROZCO Alvarez]; Democratic Force Party or PFD [Marco NUNEZ Gonzalez]; 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 Fernandez]; National Patriotic Party or PPN [Daniel Enrique REYNOLDS Vargas]; National Restoration Party or PRN [Fabio Enrique DELGADO Hernandez]; National Union Party or PUN [Arturo ACOSTA Mora]; Nationalist Democratic Alliance or ADN [Jose Miguel VILLALOBOS Umana]; Patriotic Union or UP [Jose Miguel CORRALES Bolanos]; Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC [Luis FISHMAN Zonzinski]; Union for Change Party or UPC [Antonio ALVAREZ Desanti]; United Leftist Coalition or IU [Humberto VARGAS Carbonel]
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); Costa Rican Exporter's Chamber or CADEXCO; Costa Rican Solidarity Movement; Costa Rican Union of Private Sector Enterprises or UCCAEP [Rafael CARRILLO]; Federation of Public Service Workers or FTSP; National Association for Economic Development or ANFE; National Association of Educators or ANDE; National Association of Public and Private Employees or ANEP [Albino VARGAS]; Rerum Novarum or CTRN (PLN affiliate) [Gilbert BROWN]
Population 4,133,884 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 18% (2004 est.)
Population growth rate 1.412% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 65, FM 51, shortwave 19 (2002)
Railways total: 278 km

narrow gauge: 278 km 1.067-m gauge

note: none of the railway network is in use (2007)
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: 1.048 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.023 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.866 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment: good domestic telephone service in terms of breadth of coverage; restricted cellular telephone service; state-run monopoly provider is struggling with the demand for new lines, resulting in long waiting times

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; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic telecommunications submarine cable and the MAYA-1 submarine cable that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
Telephones - main lines in use 1.351 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1.444 million (2006)
Television broadcast stations 20 (plus 43 repeaters) (2002)
Terrain coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes
Total fertility rate 2.21 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 5.5% (2007 est.)
Waterways 730 km (seasonally navigable by small craft) (2007)
Sitemap: Compare countries listing (map site) | Country listing (map site)
Links: Add to favorites | Information about this website | Stats | Polityka prywatnosci
This page was generated in ##czas## s. Size this page: ##rozmiar_strony## kB.