Costa Rica - Vital Statistics
A Democratic Republic since 1821, Costa Rica also abolished its military forces in 1948. It's reputation for being one of the most stable and prosperous nations in the region, plus the friendliness of its people, natural beauty and benign climate make it a magnet for around one and a half million international tourists each year. Many decide to take the next step, with non residents legally able to invest in Costa Rica, and an increasing number are purchasing a tropical retirement or second home.
AT A GLANCE
Area 19,730 SQ. MI. (51,100 SQ. KM.) Slightly smaller than W. Virginia, or slightly bigger than Vermont and New Hampshire combined
Borders: Nicaragua and Panama, Pacific coast, Caribbean coast.
Coastline: 801.5 miles (1,290 km)
Provincial divisions: Seven-Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarentas, San Jose
Climate: Tropical /sub-tropical (Pacific/Central Valley dry season. December-April, rainy season-May November, Caribbean driest months, September-October)
Time difference: UTC minus 6 hours.
Population: (July 2006) 4,075,261
Capital: San Jose, population in Metropolitan district 1,527,300
Language: Spanish, English, Caribbean Creole English
Religion: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Protestant, around 15.7%, others 4.8%
Ethnicity: Unlike most of its neighbor countries, Costa Ricans are of many European decent plus 3% Jamaican descent in the Caribbean, 1% indigenous groups, and between 10-15% Nicaraguan immigrants.
Literacy rate: 96%
Internet users: 1 million (2005)
Main export partner: US 42.6%
Currency: Costa Rica colon (CRC) currently about 517=US$1
Airports/airstrips: 157, of which 2 are international (third one due to open 2009)
Tourists: Approximately 1,500,000 in 2005. Upwards of 20,000 American citizens reside in Costa Rica, and over 600,000 North Americans visit annually as tourists.
Legal system: based on the Spanish and French civil law system.