Statistical information Costa Rica 1992Costa%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 1992
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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 1992
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 51,100 km²
Land: 50,660 km²; includes Isla del Coco
Comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

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

Coastline: 1,290 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Disputes: none

tropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to

Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains


Natural resources: hydropower potential
Land use

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

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Costa Rica - People 1992
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Population: 3,187,085 (July 1992), growth rate 2.4% (1992)

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

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

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

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 27 births/1000 population (1992)

Death rate: 4 deaths/1000 population (1992)

Net migration rate: 1 migrant/1000 population (1992)

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: 12 deaths/1000 live births (1992)

Life expectancy at birth: 75 years male, 79 years female (1992)

Total fertility rate: 3.2 children born/woman (1992)

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% (male 93%, female 93%) age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Costa Rica - Government 1992
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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

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
Legislative Assembly:
last held 4 February 1990 (next to be held
February 1994); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (57 total)
PUSC 29, PLN 25, PVP/PPC 1, regional parties 2

President: last held 4 February 1990 (next to be held February 1994); results - Rafael Angel CALDERON Fournier 51%, Carlos Manuel CASTILLO 47%
Communists: 7,500 members and sympathizers

Executive branch: president, two vice presidents, Cabinet

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (Asamblea

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation:
AG (observer), BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA,

Diplomatic representation:
Ambassador Gonzalo FACIO Segreda; 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, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Diego,
San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico), and a Consulate in Buffalo

US: Ambassador Luis GUINOT, Jr.; Embassy at Pavas Road, San Jose (mailing address is APO AA 34,020); telephone 506 20-39-39 FAX (506) 20-2,305

Diplomatic representation

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 1992
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Economy overview:
In 1991 the economy grew at an estimated 2.5%, down somewhat from the 3.6% gain of 1990 and below the strong 5.5% gain of 1989. Increases in agricultural production (on the strength of good coffee and banana crops) and in construction have been offset by lower rates of growth for industry.
In 1991 consumer prices rose by 27%, about the same as in 1990. The trade deficit of $270 million was substantially below the 1990 deficit of $677 million. Unemployment is officially reported at 4.6%, but much underemployment remains. External debt, on a per capita basis, is among the world's highest.

GDP: exchange rate conversion - $5.9 billion, per capita $1,900; real growth rate 2.5% (1991 est.)

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, potatoes; 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, plastic products

Industrial production growth rate:
growth rate 2.3% (1990 est.); accounts for 23% of

Labor force: 868,300; industry and commerce 35.1%, government and services 33%, agriculture 27%, other 4.9% (1985 est.)
Organized labor: 15.1% of labor force
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 4.6% (1991)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $831 million; expenditures $1.08 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)

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: $1.5 billion (f.o.b., 1991 est.)
Commodoties: coffee, bananas, textiles, sugar
Partners: US 75%, Germany, Guatemala, Netherlands, UK, Japan

Imports: $1.8 billion (c.i.f., 1991 est.)
Commodoties: petroleum, machinery, consumer durables, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs
Partners: US 40%, Japan, Guatemala, Germany

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Costa Rican colones (C) per US$1 - 136.35 (January 1992), 122.43 (1991), 91.58 (1990), 81.504 (1989), 75.805 (1988), 62.776 (1987)

Costa Rica - Energy 1992
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 927,000 kW capacity; 3,408 million kWh produced, 1,095 kWh per capita (1991)

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 1992
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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 1992
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp:
exchange rate conversion - $22 million, 0.5% of
GDP (1989)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Costa Rica - Transportation 1992
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

164 total, 149 usable; 28 with permanent-surface runways; none
with runways over 3,659 m; 1
with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 10
with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: petroleum products 176 km



Waterways: about 730 km, seasonally navigable

Merchant marine:
1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,878
GRT/4,506 DWT

Civil air: 11 major transport aircraft

Ports and terminals

Costa Rica - Transnational issues 1992
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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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