Costa Rica Facts - EcoTrans Costa Rica
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About Costa Rica


  • Name: Republic of Costa Rica.


  • Location: Central America, south of Nicaragua and North of Panama.


  • Capital: San José.


  • Area: 50,660 km sq (about the size of the U.S. state of West Virginia).


  • Population: 5 million.


  • Infant mortality rate: 11.6 per 1,000 live births.

  • Life expectancy: 77.49 years male, 79.52 years female.


  • Total fertility rate: 3.11 children per woman (1993 estimate).


  • Principal industries: Tourism, coffee, bananas.


  • Ethnic divisions: White (including mestizo) 96 percent, Black 2 percent, Indian 1 percent, Chinese 1 percent.


  • Language: Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon, in the tourism industry, and by many professionals in the Central Valley.
  • Religions: Roman Catholic (official state religion) 95 percent. Protestant faiths are practiced, and there is a small Jewish community.


  • Administrative division: Provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas, San José.


  • Legal system: Based on Spanish civil law system, judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court.


  • Direct election: Democratic republic with two similar centrist dominant parties National Liberation Party (PLN) and Christian Unity Party (PUSC). Elections held every four years.


  • Education: Free and compulsory through the end of the 9th year.