Statistical information Costa Rica 1994Costa%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 1994
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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 1994
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Location: Middle America, between Nicaragua and Panama

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean, South America

Total area total: 51,100 km²
Land: 50,660 km²

Land boundaries: total 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

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
Arable land: 6%
Permanent crops: 7%
Meadows and pastures: 45%
Forest and woodland: 34%
Other: 8%

Irrigated land: 1,180 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: subject to occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season; active volcanoes


Costa Rica - People 1994
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Population: 3,342,154 (July 1994 est.)
Growth rate: 2.31% (1994 est.)

Nationality: noun:Costa Rican(s)

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: 2.31% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 25.48 births/1000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 3.52 deaths/1000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.14 migrant(s)/1000 population (1994 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation, largely a result of land clearing for cattle ranching; soil erosion

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 11 deaths/1000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.8 years
Male: 75.88 years
Female: 79.81 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.06 children born/woman (1994 est.)

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: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
Total population: 93%
Male: 93%
Female: 93%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Costa Rica - Government 1994
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica
Conventional short form:
local long form: Republica de Costa Rica
local short form

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: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch: chief of state and head of government:President Jose Maria FIGUERES Olsen (since 8 May 1994; First Vice President Rodrigo OREAMUNO Blanco (since 8 May 1994; Second Vice President Rebeca GRYNSPAN Mayufis (since 8 May 1994; election last held 6 February 1994 (next to be held February 1998; results - President FIGUERES (PLN party) 49.7%, Miquel Angel RODRIGUEZ (PUSC party) 47.5%

Legislative branch: Civil Guard, Rural Assistance Guard
Legislative Assembly Asamblea Legislativa: elections last held 6 February 1994 (next to be held February 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (61 total) PLN 28, PUSC 29, minority parties 4
Note: constitution prohibits armed forces

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AG (observer), BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), LORCS, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
From the us chief of mission: (vacant); Charge d' Affaires Joseph BECELIA
From the us chancery: 2,114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20,008
From the us telephone: [506] 20-39-39
From the us fax: (506) 20-2,305
From the us consulates general: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
From the us consulates: Austin and Raleigh
From the us embassy: Pavas Road, San Jose
From the us mailing address: APO AA 34,020

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 1994
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Economy overview: In 1993 the economy grew at an estimated 6.5%, compared with 7.7% in 1992 and 2.1% in 1991. Increases in agricultural production (coffee and bananas), nontraditional exports, and tourism are responsible for much of the growth. Inflation in 1993 dropped to 9% from 17% in 1992 and 25% in 1991, an indication of basic financial stability. Unemployment is officially reported at 4.0%, but much underemployment remains.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 6.5% (1993 est.)

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 19% 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: 10.5% (1992; accounts for 22% of GDP

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

Unemployment rate: 4% (1993; much underemployment

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues:$1.1 billion

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: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1993)
Commodities: coffee, bananas, textiles, sugar
Partners: US, Germany, Italy, Guatemala, El Salvador, Netherlands, UK, France

Imports: $2.9 billion (c.i.f., 1993)
Commodities: raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum
Partners: US, Japan, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Germany

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $3.2 billion (1991)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Costa Rican colones (C) per US$1 - 150.67 (December 1993), 142.17 (1993), 134.51 (1992), 122.43 (1991), 91.58 (1990), 81.504 (1989)

Costa Rica - Energy 1994
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3.612 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 1,130 kWh (1992)

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 1994
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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 1994
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: exchange rate conversion - $22 million, 0.5% of GDP (1989)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Costa Rica - Transportation 1994
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 184
Usable: 165
With permanentsurface runways: 27
With runways over 3659 m: 0
With runways 2440-3659 m: 2
With runways 1220-2439 m: 9

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

Ports and terminals

Costa Rica - Transnational issues 1994
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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

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