Costa Rica at a Glance

  • Nation name: República de Costa Rica (Republic of Costa Rica)
  • President: Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera (2014)
  • Government type: Democratic Republic
  • Capital and largest city (2006 est.): San José, 1,527,300 (metro. area); 337,200 (city proper)
  • Administrative divisions: 7 provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas and San Jose
  • Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
  • Geographic coordinates: 10° 00’ N latitude, 84° 00’ W longitude
  • Land area: 50,660 sq km (19,560 sq mi). Total area: 51,100 sq km (19,730 sq mi). Comparative Reference: slightly smaller than West Virginia
  • Land boundaries: Nicaragua, 309 km (192 miles); Panama, 330 km (205 miles)
  • Coastline: 1,290 km (802 miles)
  • Elevation extremes: Highest point: Cerro Chirripo, 3,810 m (12,500 feet). Lowest point: Pacific Ocean, sea level
  • Climate: Tropical and subtropical. Cooler in highlands. Dry season (summer/December to April). Green season (winter/May to November)
  • Population (2006 est.): 4,075,261. Growth rate: 1.5%. Birth rate: 18.3/1000. Infant mortality rate: 9.7/1000. Life expectancy: 77.0. Density per sq mi: 208
  • Monetary unit: Colón
  • Languages: Spanish (official), English
  • Ethnicity/Race: white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 76%, Evangelical 14%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1%, other Protestant 1%, other 5%, none 3%
  • Literacy Rate: 96% (2006 est.)

Costa Rica symbols
  • GDP/PPP (2005 est.): $40.44 billion; per capita $10,100
  • Real growth rate: 3.3%
  • Inflation: 13.8%
  • Unemployment: 6.6%
  • Agriculture: coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes, beef, timber
  • Industries: microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
  • Exports: coffee, bananas, sugar, pineapples, textiles, electronic components, medical equipment
  • Imports: raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum
  • Major trading partners: U.S., Netherlands, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Brazil (2006)
  • Telephones – 1.3 million land line units in use; 0.9 million cell phones in use. 911 emergency numbers
  • Internet – High-speed. 1 million users. One legal internet service provider
  • Railways: total: 278 km (173 miles)
  • Roads and highways: total: 35,303 km (22,000 miles)
  • Waterways: 730 km (454 miles) (seasonally navigable by small craft)
  • Ports and harbors: Caldera, Puerto Limon
  • Airports: 2 major airports. 149 total (2004 est.).