Costa Rica



Official Country Name
Costa Rica

Costa Rica Overview
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.

Costa Rica Economy
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. The government continues to grapple with its large internal and external deficits and sizable internal debt. The reduction of inflation remains a difficult problem because of rising import prices, labor market rigidities, and fiscal deficits. The country also needs to reform its tax system and its pattern of public expenditure. The current administration has made it a priority to pass the necessary reforms to implement the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). CAFTA implementation would result in an improved investment climate.

Costa Rica Location
Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama

Region
Costa Rica is located in Central America

Costa Rica Population
Costa Rica has population of 4,075,261 (July 2006 est.)

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

Costa Rica Terrain
coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes

Costa Rica Natural Resources
hydropower

Ethnic Groups in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has the following ethnic groups - white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%

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

Costa Rica Languages
Spanish (official), English

Costa Rica Capital
Costa Rica capital is San Jose

Costa Rica Currency
Costa Rica currency is Costa Rican colon

Map of Costa Rica