Statistical information Costa Rica 2001Costa%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 2001
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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 achieved a relatively high standard of living. Land ownership is widespread. Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry.

Costa Rica - Geography 2001
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Location: Middle America bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean between Nicaragua and Panama

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N 84 00 W

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 51,100 km²
Land: 50,660 km²
Water: 440 km²
Note: includes Isla del Coco
Comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Land boundaries
Total: 639 km
Border countries: (2) Nicaragua 309 km; , Panama 330 km

Coastline: 1290 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m

Natural resources: hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 6%
Permanent crops: 5%
Permanent pastures: 46%
Forests and woodland: 31%
Other: 12% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1200 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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


Costa Rica - People 2001
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Population: 3,773,057 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 1.65% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: 20.6% (1999 est.)

Noun: Costa Rican
Adjective: Costa Rican

Ethnic groups: white (including mestizo) 94% black 3% Amerindian 1% Chinese 1% other 1%

Languages: Spanish (official) English spoken around Puerto Limon

Religions: Roman Catholic 76.3% Evangelical 13.7% other Protestant 0.7% Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3% other 4.8% none 3.2%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 31.38% (male 605,728; female 578,128)
15-64 years: 63.37% (male 1,209,084; female 1,181,754)
65 years and over: 5.25% (male 92,314; female 106,049) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.65% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 20.27 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 4.3 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.53 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation and land use change largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; water pollution (rivers); coastal marine pollution; wetlands degradation; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
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
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male/female
Total population: 1.02 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 11.18 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 76.02 years
Male: 73.49 years
Female: 78.68 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.47 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.54% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 12,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 750 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 94.8%
Male: 94.7%
Female: 95% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Costa Rica - Government 2001
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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

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: 7 November 1949

Legal system: based on Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ (since 8 May 1998); First Vice President Astrid FISCHEL Volio (since 8 May 1998), Second Vice President Elizabeth ODIO Benito (since 8 May 1998); note - president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ (since 8 May 1998); First Vice President Astrid FISCHEL Volio (since 8 May 1998), Second Vice President Elizabeth ODIO Benito (since 8 May 1998); note - 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 1 February 1998 (next to be held 3 February 2002)
Election results: Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ elected president; percent of vote - Miguel Angel RODRIGUEZ (PUSC) 46.6%, Jose Miguel CORRALES (PLN) 44.6%

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 1 February 1998 (next to be held 3 February 2002)
Election results: percent of vote by party - PUSC 41%, PLN 35%, minority parties 24%; seats by party - PUSC 27, PLN 23, minority parties 7

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (22 justices are elected for eight-year terms by the Legislative Assembly)

Political parties and leaders
Note: mainly a two-party system - PUSC and PLN; numerous small parties share less than 25% of population's support


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Jaime DAREMBLUM Rosenstein
In the us chancery: 2,114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 234-2,945
In the us fax: [1] (202) 265-4,795
In the us consulates general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco, St. Paul, and Tampa
In the us consulates: Austin
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas J. DODD
From the us embassy: Calle 120 Avenida O, Pavas, San Jose
From the us mailing address: APO AA 34,020
From the us telephone: [506] 220-3,939
From the us fax: [506] 220-2,305

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 2001
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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. 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 and with the need to modernize the state-owned electricity and telecommunications sector.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3% (2000 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: 12.5%
Industry: 30.7%
Services: 56.8% (1999)

Agriculture products: coffee pineapples bananas sugar corn rice beans potatoes; beef; timber

Industries: microprocessors food processing textiles and clothing construction materials fertilizer plastic products

Industrial production growth rate: 4.3% (2000)

Labor force: 1.9 million (1999)
By occupation agriculture: 20%
By occupation industry: 22%
By occupation services: 58% (1999 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 5.2% (2000 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 20.6% (1999 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 1.3%
Highest 10: 34.7% (1996)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $1.95 billion
Expenditures: $2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 11% (2000 est.)

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: $6.1 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: coffee bananas sugar; pineapples; textiles electronic components medical equipment
Partners: US 54.1% EU 21.3% Central America 8.6% (1999)

Imports: $5.9 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: raw materials consumer goods capital equipment petroleum
Partners: US 56.4% EU 9% Mexico 5.4% Japan 4.7% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $4.2 billion (2000 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Costa Rican colones per US dollar - 318.95 (2001) 308.19 (2000) 285.68 (1999) 257.23 (1998) 232.60 (1997) 207.69 (1996)

Costa Rica - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 5.805 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 2.41%
By source hydro: 83.32%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 14.27% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 5.303 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 165 million kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 69 million kWh (1999)

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 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 143,000 (2000)

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)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .cr

Internet users: 150,000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Costa Rica - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $69 million (FY99)
Percent of gdp: 1.6% (FY99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Costa Rica - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 152 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 29
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 19
With paved runways under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 123
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 28
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 95 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 29
2438 to 3047 m: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 19
Under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 123
914 to 1523 m: 28
Under 914 m: 95 (2000 est.)


Pipelines: petroleum products 176 km

Total: 950 km
Narrow gauge: 950 km 1.067-m gauge (260 km electrified) (2000)


Waterways: 730 km (seasonally navigable)

Merchant marine
Total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,716 GRT/NA DWT
Ships by type: passenger 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Costa Rica - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: legal dispute over navigational rights of Rio San Juan on border with Nicaragua

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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