Statistical information Costa Rica 1990Costa%20Rica

Map of Costa Rica | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Costa Rica in the World
Costa Rica in the World


Costa Rica - Introduction 1990
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Background: Costa Rica declared its independence from Spain in 1821. After a turbulent beginning it inaugurated an era of peaceful democracy in 1889, subsequently interrupted only twice, by a dictatorial interlude in 1917-19 and an armed uprising in 1948. Increasing the role of the private sector while maintaining the government's social safety net and keeping under control the budget deficit, unemployment, and inflation are key current issues.

Costa Rica - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 639 km total; Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km

Coastline: 1,290 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; dry season (December to April; rainy season (May to November)

Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains


Natural resources: hydropower potential
Land use

Land use: 6% arable land; 7% permanent crops; 45% meadows and pastures; 34% forest and woodland; 8% other; includes 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Costa Rica - People 1990
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Population: 3,032,795 (July 1990), growth rate 2.6% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Costa Rican(s; adjective--Costa Rican

Ethnic groups: 96% white (including mestizo), 2% black, 1% Indian, 1% Chinese

Languages: Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon

Religions: 95% Roman Catholic

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 28 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 4 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 2 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: subject to occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season; active volcanoes; deforestation; soil erosion

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 16 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 74 years male, 79 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 3.3 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 93%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Costa Rica - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica

Government type: democratic republic

Capital: San Jose

Administrative divisions: 7 provinces (provincias, singular--provincia; Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose

Dependent areas

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 9 November 1949

Legal system: based on Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government--President Rafael Angel CALDERON Fournier (since 8 May 1990; First Vice President German SERRANO Pinto (since 8 May 1990; Second Vice President Arnoldo LOPEZ Echandi (since 8 May 1990)

Legislative branch: Civil Guard, Rural Assistance Guard; note--Constitution prohibits armed forces

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, IWC--International Wheat Council, OAS, ODECA, PAHO, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Danilo JIMENEZ; Chancery at Suite 211, 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,009; telephone (202) 234-2,945 through 2,947; there are Costa Rican Consulates General at Albuquerque, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Tampa, and Consulates in Austin, Buffalo, Honolulu, and Raleigh; US--Ambassador (vacant; Embassy at Pavas Road, San Jose (mailing address is APO Miami 34,020; telephone p506o 33-11-55

Flag descriptionflag of Costa%20Rica: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Costa Rica - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: In 1988 the economy grew at a 3.8% rate, a drop from the 5.1% of the previous year. Gains in agricultural production (on the strength of good coffee and banana crops) and in construction, were partially offset by declines in the rates of growth for the industry and commerce sectors. In 1988 consumer prices rose by nearly 21% followed by a 10% rise in 1989. Unemployment is officially reported at about 6%, but much underemployment remains. External debt, on a per capita basis, is among the world's highest.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 20-25% of GDP and 70% of exports; cash commodities--coffee, beef, bananas, sugar; other food crops include corn, rice, beans, potatotes; normally self-sufficient in food except for grain; depletion of forest resources resulting in lower timber output

Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer

Industrial production growth rate: 2.1% (1988)

Labor force: 868,300; industry and commerce 35.1%, government and services 33%, agriculture 27%, other 4.9% (1985 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 5.5% (March 1989)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $719 million; expenditures $808 million, including capital expenditures of $103 million (1988)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $1.3 billion (f.o.b., 1988)
Commodities: coffee, bananas, textiles, sugar
Partners: US 75%, FRG, Guatemala, Netherlands, UK, Japan

Imports: $1.4 billion (c.i.f., 1988)
Commodities: petroleum, machinery, consumer durables, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs
Partners: US 35%, Japan, Guatemala, FRG

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $4.5 billion (1989)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Costa Rican colones (C) per US$1--84.689 (January 1990), 81.504 (1989), 75.805 (1988), 62.776 (1987), 55.986 (1986), 50.453 (1985)

Costa Rica - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Costa Rica - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Costa Rica - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 0.6% of GDP (1987)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Costa Rica - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 193 total, 177 usable; 25 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 11 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: refined products, 176 km



Waterways: about 730 km, seasonally navigable

Merchant marine: 2 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,279 GRT/6,602 DWT

Ports and terminals

Costa Rica - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit production of cannabis on small scattered plots; transshipment country for cocaine from South America

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