Costa Rica



  • Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua, Panama, Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, to the north, southeast, west and east respectively.

Capital City

  • The capital city of the country is San Jose, which is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity.


  • Costa Rica has a population of 4,301,712 people. Whites, Castizos and Mestizos are the dominant in the society and constitutes of about 83.63%, others include Afro-Caribbean, Mulattoes, Native American, Chinese, among others.
  • There are about 489,200 immigrants in the country, largely from Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize.


  • The primary language spoken in the country is Spanish.

GPD GDP per Capita

  • The GDP per capita in 2014 was 13, 712.93 USD, the highest in the country’s history (Trading Economies, 2015).
  • The GDP per capita has grown to its current state from 7, 332.54 USD in 1990.

Form of Government

  • The President is the head of state and head of government.
  • The President and Vice presidents are elected every four years through the voting by citizens, who are over 18 years old.
  • Costa Rica is a democratic, free, and independent republic.
  • The country is divided into seven provinces administered by governors appointed by the president.

Economic Freedom

  • Costa Rica’s economic freedom score is at 67.2, making it the 51st in the 2015 index.
  • It has one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment in Latin America (The Heritage Foundation, 2015).
  • Over the past five years, Costa Rica’s economic freedom has declined.
  • The government’s limited economic presence has facilitated business environment based on tourism, agriculture, and technology.




The graphical representation of the changes in economic freedom scores over time


  • Economic freedom has declined in four factors: property rights, fiscal freedom, labor freedom, and trade freedom.

Civil liberties

  • The democratic form of the government allows Individuals to freely criticize the government without reprisal.
  • The law limits hate speech in publications based on ethnic origin, race, or color.
  • The accused have the right to an attorney, who informs them about the charges filed against them, bail, and the a speedy trial.


  • The country’s corruption score is at 53, which is above the average (The Heritage Foundation, 2015).
  • However, it has the lowest score in corruption in the region, making it the most transparent in the Latin America.

Violence and Personal Security

  • Pick pocketing, muggings, purse snatching, and theft are common occurrence in the country.
  • In 2012, there were 394 murders committed.
  • Costa Rica is a stable democracy, with no civil unrest reported in recent years  (OSAC, 2014).
  • The road is among the challenges faced by the country.
  • There are large potholes causing damage to vehicles, while violation of Traffic laws and speed limits increases the risk in roads for both the motorists and pedestrians

Economic Openness and Trade Policy

  • Costa Rica’s average tariff rate is 3.1 %, while the customs procedures are upgraded.
  • Domestic and foreign investors are treated similarly despite restrictions in some sectors

Currency and Banking

  • The banking sector is gradually becoming more competitive, but the state owned banks are still in the dominance.
  • Costa Rica’s currency is the colon abbreviated as CRC and symbol ₡.
  • The current is denominated into 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 notes, and 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 in coins.

Economic Associations

  • Cost Rica has entered into a Preferential Trade Agreements with Venezuela and Colombia as well as free trade agreements with Colombia.
  • The country is also a member of the Central American Integration, which is a custom union whose members include Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama (Organization of America States, 2015).
  • Cost Rica is an affiliated member to the WTO and GATT (WTO, 2015).

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