Costa Rica

Central Intelligence Agency, “World Factbook: Costa Rica,” accessed February 10, 2019

Quick Data

Population

4,987,142 (July 2018 est.)

Central Intelligence Agency, “World Factbook: Costa Rica,” accessed February 9, 2019

Major cities

San Jose (capital): 1.358 million

Demographics

Ethnicity:

  • white or mestizo 83.6%
  • mulatto 6.7%
  • indigenous 2.4%
  • black of African descent 1.1%
  • other 1.1%
  • none 2.9%
  • unspecified 2.2% 

Religions:

  • Roman Catholic 71.8%
  • Evangelical and Pentecostal 12.3%
  • other Protestant 2.6%
  • Jehovah’s Witness 0.5%
  • other 2.4%
  • none 10.4% 

Economy

Gross Domestic Product

Trade

In 2017 Costa Rica exported $16.4 billion worth of goods. The United States was the top destination for exports by a wide margin followed distantly by Belgium, Netherlands, Panama, and Nicaragua.

Top five destinations for exported goods from Costa Rica in 2017 based on UN COMTRADE data.
Top five destinations for exported goods from Costa Rica in 2017 based on UN COMTRADE data.

Costa Rica exported $2.2 billion worth of instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences in 2017. Costa Rica also exported $1.1 billion and $1.0 billion worth of bananas and pineapples. Together these three categories comprised nearly 40% of all exports that year.

In 2017 Costa Rica imported $11.3 billion worth of goods. The majority of Costa Rica’s imported goods came from the United States, followed by China, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Top five sources of imported goods to Costa Rica in 2017 based on UN COMTRADE data.
Top five sources of imported goods to Costa Rica in 2017 based on UN COMTRADE data.

Costa Rica imported $1.4 billion worth of petroleum oil under HS 2710, $0.8 billion worth of vehicles principally designed to transport people but not vehicles for public transportation under HS 8703, $6.2 billion worth of medicaments under HS 3304, and $4.9 billion worth of telephones and cellphones under HS 8517. Together these four categories comprised nearly 20% of all imported goods in 2017.

Politics

Executive

Legislative

Background

Geography

Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua and Panama to the north and south, respectively, and the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean to the east and west, respectively.

Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua spans 313 kilometers. Its border with Panama spans 348 kilometers.

At 51,100 square kilometers, Costa Rica is slightly smaller than West Virginia and slightly larger than Slovakia. According to a 2011 estimate, arable land comprises 4.9% of Costa Rica, permanent crops 6.7%, permanent pasture 25.5%, forest 51.5%, and other 11.4%.

Costa Rica has four volcanoes. However, only Irazu and Arenal are active. Irazu is located near the capital city, San Jose, and has the potential to spew ash on the city. Arenal erupted in 2010 and is the more active of the two. Other natural hazards including occasional earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding in the lowlands and landslides during the rainy season.



Categories: Costa Rica, Profile

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