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[67] Total imports in that year were US$15 billion. That date is still celebrated as Independence Day in Costa Rica[26] even though, technically, under the Spanish Constitution of 1812 that had been readopted in 1820, Nicaragua and Costa Rica had become an autonomous province with its capital in León. It reflects the inhabitant's philosophy of life,[123] denoting a simple life, free of stress, a positive, relaxed feeling. [146] Its healthcare system is ranked higher than that of the United States, despite having a fraction of its GDP. Costa Rica is located in Central America (which is a cultural region; as is Latin America) but technically all of Central America is the southernmost tip of North America. Because of the lack of agreement on these two possible outcomes, the first civil war of Costa Rica occurred. The major concern of the government at the moment is how to minimize the growing debts and how to raise funds to meet the budget deficit. [36], Most Afro-Costa Ricans descend from Jamaican immigrants who worked in the construction of that railway and now make up about 3% of Costa Rica's population. Nicaragua may require Costa Rican boats to display the flag of Nicaragua, but may not charge them for departure clearance from its ports. [123], Costa Rica rates 12th on the 2017 Happy Planet Index in the World Happiness Report by the UN[127] but the country is said to be the happiest in Latin America. [11] The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. [83], A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws many tourists to its extensive series of national parks and other protected areas. [90], Costa Rica has a long-term disagreement with Nicaragua over the San Juan River, which defines the border between the two countries, and Costa Rica's rights of navigation on the river. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/is-costa-rica-in-south-america.html [148][149][150] Costa Rica is particularly attractive to Americans due to geographic proximity, high quality of medical services, and lower medical costs.[149]. The guitar is popular, especially as an accompaniment to folk dances; however, the marimba was made the national instrument. It is one of the few countries that has a Pacific as well as Atlantic Ocean coast. It is in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. The name la costa rica, meaning "rich coast" in the Spanish language, was in some accounts first applied by Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the eastern shores of Costa Rica during his final voyage in 1502,[20] and reported vast quantities of gold jewelry worn by natives. Colombia sits to the southeast. [2] Native and European mixed blood populations are far less than in other Latin American countries. The continent is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and north while the west is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica experiences a tropical climate year round. [16] It performs also well on comparisons of the state of democracy, press freedom and subjective happiness. [110] This survey indicated a decline in the share of Catholics and rise in the share of Protestants and irreligious. As a result, bananas came to rival coffee as the principal Costa Rican export, while foreign-owned corporations (including the United Fruit Company later) began to hold a major role in the national economy and eventually became a symbol of the exploitative export economy. There are no significant trade barriers that would affect imports and the country has been lowering its tariffs in accordance with other Central American countries. "Costa Rica is the Happiest Places in the World According to National Geographic. There are two seasons. Its homicide rate is 10.3 people per 100,000, second in the region only to Nicaragua at 8.7. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). In the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Costa Rica ranked 44th in the world and second among Latin American countries after Mexico in 2011. An 1858 treaty extended navigation rights to Costa Rica, but Nicaragua denied passenger travel and fishing were part of the deal; the court ruled Costa Ricans on the river were not required to have Nicaraguan tourist cards or visas as Nicaragua argued, but, in a nod to the Nicaraguans, ruled that Costa Rican boats and passengers must stop at the first and last Nicaraguan port along their route. [86] The Ethical Traveler group's ten countries on their 2017 list of The World's Ten Best Ethical Destinations includes Costa Rica. Christianity is a major religion. (2016)[52] Agriculture employs 12.9% of the labor force, industry 18.57%, services 69.02% (2016)[60] For the region, its unemployment level is moderately high (8.2% in 2016, according to the IMF). The central and southern portions of the country had Chibcha influences. Spaniards brought many new ingredients to the country from other lands, especially spices and domestic animals. [48] These include the white-headed capuchin, the mantled howler, the endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey,[48][49] and the Central American squirrel monkey, found only on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a small part of Panama, and considered endangered until 2008, when its status was upgraded to vulnerable. Mount, Graeme S. "Costa Rica and the Cold War, 1948–1990. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José, with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolita… Shards of pots, cylindrical vases, platters, gourds and other forms of vases decorated with grooves, prints, and some modelled after animals have been found.[19]. [114], The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims more than 35,000 members, and has a temple in San José that served as a regional worship center for Costa Rica. The majority of the Afro-Costa Ricans are Creole English-speaking descendants of 19th century black Jamaican immigrant workers.[100][101]. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south and east. [91] In 2010, there was also a dispute around Isla Calero, and the impact of Nicaraguan dredging of the river in that area. The primary language spoken in Costa Rica is Spanish, which features characteristics distinct to the country, a form of Central American Spanish. The Mulatto segment (mix of white and black) represented 6.7% and indigenous people made up 2.4% of the population. Politically, Costa Rica is one of the stable countries in Latin America embracing strong constitutional checks and balances. [54] A 2017 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that reducing the foreign debt must be a very high priority for the government. Costa Rica is incredibly safe, as long as you use good sense. Explore similarities and differences. [53] The estimated GDP for 2017 is US$61.5 billion and the estimated GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) is US$12,382. Coffee was first planted in Costa Rica in 1808,[31] and by the 1820s, it surpassed tobacco, sugar, and cacao as a primary export. Costa Rica is not part of Puerto Rico nor is it a territory of the United States either. The Latinobarómetro survey of 2017 found that 57% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics, 25% are Evangelical Protestants, 15% report that they do not have a religion, and 2% declare that they belong to another religion. [92], On 14 July 2009, the International Court of Justice in the Hague upheld Costa Rica's navigation rights for commercial purposes to subsistence fishing on their side of the river. It is bordered by Guatemala to the west, El Salvador to the southwest, Nicaragua to the southeast, the Gulf of Honduras to the north, and the Gulf of Fonseca to the south. The population stands at 4.95 million hence a population density of 84 people per square miles. But since the 1941 creation of the Social Insurance Administration (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social – CCSS), Costa Rica has provided universal health care to its wage-earning residents, with coverage extended to dependants over time. Since then, Costa Rica has held 14 presidential elections, the latest in 2018. Costa Rica took in many refugees from a range of other Latin American countries fleeing civil wars and dictatorships during the 1970s and 1980s, notably from Chile and Argentina, as well as people from El Salvador who fled from guerrillas and government death squads. Can the world learn from it? Central America also includes the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot that includes several islands. [64] General Basic Education is mandatory and provided without cost to the user. It even is under the Latin American average of 62 percent and 85 percent in Europe, FLACSO reported. Despite this long and illustrious history, a succession of earthquakes has destroyed much of the city’s charm. This language is very common in the country’s most touristic areas so you can speak English at hotels and restaurants as well as hire tour guides who speak in a perfect English. Costa Rica and Guatemala living comparison. Costa Rica has been cited as Central America's great health success story. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Arenal in northwestern Costa Rica, Volcán Arenal was thought to … Contrary to common belief that Costa Rica is located in South America, the country is actually found in the Central American Isthmus, which forms a connection between North America and South America. Costa Rica is an active member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Costa Rica’s figure is lower than the 65 percent reported in the United States and the 78 percent reported in Canada. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Live Costa Rica Population Clock 2017 - Population of Costa Rica Today", "International Religious Freedom Report for 2017", "Ahora solo la mitad de los ticos se declara católica", United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, "Amazon invests in Costa Rica as tiny nation carves out profitable niche in world economy", "The Investment Promotion Agency of Costa Rica", "Aniversario de la Independencia Nacional", "Costa Rica's Coffee Tradition - Costa Rica Star News", "Costa Rica Coffee - Past & Present Coffee Cultivations", "Coffee Production and Processing on a Large Costa Rican Finca", Ian Holzhauer, "The Presidency of Calderón Guardia" (University of Florida History Thesis, 2004), "Why getting rid of Costa Rica's army 70 years ago has been such a success", "Costa Rican president backs holiday for army abolition", "This country regrew its lost forest. In the northeast, there is a lowland jungle. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the United Nations University of Peace are based in Costa Rica. [50] Costa Rica is the first tropical country to have stopped and reversed deforestation; it has successfully restored its forestry and developed an ecosystem service to teach biologists and ecologists about its environmental protection measures. [1] By 2016, the UN estimation for the population was around 5 million.[5][6]. Due to small, but continuous, immigration from Asia and the Middle East, other religions have grown, the most popular being Buddhism, with about 100,000 practitioners (over 2% of the population). [142][143] According to NEF, Costa Rica's lead is due to its very high life expectancy which is second highest in the Americas, and higher than the United States. Costa Rica is composed of seven provinces, which in turn are divided into 82 cantons (Spanish: cantón, plural cantones), each of which is directed by a mayor. In fact, it is on the Central American isthmus that connects North America and South America. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/sun-sea-and-stable-democracy-what-s-the-secret-to-costa-rica-s-success/#:~:text=As%20a%20result%2C%20Costa%20Rica,Happy%20Planet%20Index%20(HPI).&text=A%20recent%20Gallup%20poll%20found,longer%20than%20in%20the%20US. Primary health care facilities in Costa Rica include health clinics, with a general practitioner, nurse, clerk, pharmacist and a primary health technician. it is located in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range. The population includes European Costa Ricans (of European ancestry), primarily of Spanish descent,[2] with significant numbers of Italian, German, English, Dutch, French, Irish, Portuguese, and Polish families, as well a sizable Jewish community. Costa Rica's geography reveals a history of cataclysm, with earthquakes, floods and volcanoes shaping its present-day landscape. [139] The Nicoya Peninsula is considered one of the Blue Zones in the world, where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. A recommended response to "How are you?" There are both state and private universities. [97][98], The 2011 census counted a population of 4.3 million people[99] distributed among the following groups: 83.6% whites or mestizos, 6.7% mulattoes, 2.4% Native American, 1.1% black or Afro-Caribbean; the census showed 1.1% as Other, 2.9% (141,304 people) as None, and 2.2% (107,196 people) as unspecified. The country’s population of 4.9 million, is about the size of West Virginia. or "how are you?". Welcome to RealWorld. Majority of the people are whites making up to 83% of the population. [42][96] According to DW, "Costa Rica is known for its stable democracy, progressive social policies, such as free, compulsory public education, high social well-being, and emphasis on environmental protection. [78] In 2015, the tourism sector was responsible for 5.8% of the country's GDP, or $3.4 billion. The cantons are further divided into 473 districts (distritos). [147] Prior to 1940, government hospitals and charities provided most health care. [74] In 2019, the country produced 99.62% of its electricity from renewable sources and ran completely on renewable sources for 300 continuous days. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War in 1948, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.[13][14][15]. It remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the Federal Republic of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José, with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area. [11] Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. In 2015, the zones supported over 82 thousand direct jobs and 43 thousand indirect jobs in 2015 and average wages in the FTZ were 1.8 times greater than the average for private enterprise work in the rest of the country. Costa Rica is a small country that has made great strives against the spread of the new Coronavirus in its territory. [63] Housing is also very affordable. The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 68th in the world as of 2019[update], and fifth in Latin America. Reasons include the high level of social services, the caring nature of its inhabitants, long life expectancy and relatively low corruption. [24], Another important factor behind Costa Rica's poverty was the lack of a significant indigenous population available for encomienda (forced labor), which meant most of the Costa Rican settlers had to work on their own land, preventing the establishment of large haciendas (plantations). In 1917–19, General Federico Tinoco Granados ruled as a military dictator until he was overthrown and forced into exile. In practice, the captaincy general was a largely autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire. The total exports were US$12.6 billion for a trade deficit of US$2.39 billion in 2015. [27][28][29], In 1838, long after the Federal Republic of Central America ceased to function in practice, Costa Rica formally withdrew and proclaimed itself sovereign. [128][129], Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. ", "Costa Rica es nuevamente el país más feliz del mundo, según índice 'Happy Planet, "UK citizens better off than EU counterparts, says happiness index", "Measuring what matters: the Happy Planet Index 2012", "Costa Rica: Achievements of a Heterodox Health Policy", "CLOSING THE GAPS: The Challenge to Protect Costa Rica's Health Care System", Contested Cornerstones of Nonviolent National Self-Perception in Costa Rica: A Historical Approach, Policymaking, Parties, and Institutions in Democratic Costa Rica, Official website of the government of Costa Rica, World Bank Summary Trade Statistics Costa Rica, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Costa_Rica&oldid=993575884, Spanish-speaking countries and territories, States and territories established in 1821, Articles with incomplete citations from October 2018, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Articles with dead external links from February 2019, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2019, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from September 2019, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2009, Articles lacking reliable references from February 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2011, Articles with Spanish-language sources (es), Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. One national park, the Corcovado National Park, is internationally renowned among ecologists for its biodiversity (including big cats and tapirs) and is where visitors can expect to see an abundance of wildlife. All children under one have access to well-baby clinics, and the immunization coverage rate in 2002 was above 91% for all antigens. As well, Costa Rica would benefit from more courses in languages such as English, Portuguese, Mandarin and French and also in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). [18], The earliest use of pottery appears around 2,000 to 3,000 BCE. The country experiences a tropical climate in the lowlands an… The Pacific Ocean borders the western and southern parts of Costa Rica, and the Caribbean Sea borders Costa Rica on the east. This geographic location of Costa Rica within the Isthmus makes people conclude that the country is part of South America. Nicaragua can also impose timetables on Costa Rican traffic. Costa Rica hosts many refugees, mainly from Colombia and Nicaragua. clean energy to generate power for over 90 days", "Costa Rica's Electricity Is Nearly At 100% Renewable Energy", "A bird-eye view of Costa Rica's transport infrastructure", "Latin American countries with the largest number of international tourist arrivals in 2015 (in millions)", "Costa Rica: Flow of Visitors Up 10% in 2016", "Tourism Represents 5.8% of GDP in Costa Rica - Costa Rica Star News", "Costa Rica alcanza cifra récord en llegadas internacionales: 2,9 millones de visitantes", "Turismo, principal motor de la economía durante el 2004", "Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011", "Costa Rica Ranks 38th in Tourism and Travel Competitiveness Report 2017 - Costa Rica Star News", "The Most Ethical Travel Destinations for 2017", "Costa Rican Ministry of International Relations Declaration of Objectives", "Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba", "International Court of Justice recent provisional Costa Rica-Nicaragua decision", "World Court Settles San Juan River Dispute; Nicaragua and Costa Rica Both Claim Victory", "Costa Rica Boots Taiwan, Welcomes China In Diplomatic Switch", "UN News - UN Member States set to adopt 'historic' treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons", "Costa Rica's peace dividend: How abolishing the military paid off", "Chapter XXVI: Disarmament – No. ", "Solo 1 de cada 10 adultos habla un segundo idioma". 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