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Costa Rica

Area: 51,100 sq. km (19,730 sq. mi.) about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
Cities: Capital--San Jose (greater metropolitan area pop. 2.1 million, the greater metropolitan area as defined by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy includes the cities of Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia). Other major cities outside the San Jose capital area--Puntarenas, Limon.
Terrain: A rugged, central range separates the eastern and western coastal plains.
Climate: Mild in the central highlands, tropical and subtropical in coastal areas.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Costa Rican(s).
Population (July 2005 est.): 4.02 million.
Annual growth rate (2005 est.): 1.48%.
Ethnic groups: European and some mestizo 94%, African origin 3%, Chinese 1%, indigenous 1%, other 1%.
Religion: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Protestant approx. 15.7%, others 4.8%, none 3.2%.
Languages: Spanish, with a southwestern Caribbean Creole dialect of English spoken around the Limon area.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Attendance--99% grades 1-6, 71% grades 7-9. Literacy--96%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--9.95/1,000. Life expectancy--men 74.26 yrs., women 79.55 yrs.
Work force (2004 est., 1.81 million): Services--71.3%; agriculture--14.6%; industry--14%.

Type: Democratic republic.
Independence: September 15, 1821.
Constitution: November 7, 1949.
Branches: Executive--president (head of government and chief of state) elected for one 4-year term, two vice presidents, Cabinet (15 ministers, one of whom also is vice president). Legislative--57-deputy unicameral Legislative Assembly elected at 4-year intervals. Judicial--Supreme Court of Justice (22 magistrates elected by Legislative Assembly for renewable 8-year terms). The offices of the Ombudsman, Comptroller General, and Procurator General assert autonomous oversight of the government.
Subdivisions: Seven provinces, divided into 81 cantons, subdivided into 421 districts.
Political parties: Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), National Liberation Party (PLN), Citizen's Action Party (PAC), Libertarian Movement Party (PML), Costa Rican Renovation Party (PRC), and other smaller parties.
Suffrage: Universal and compulsory at age 18.

GDP (2004): $18.4 billion.
GDP PPP (2004 est.): $37.97 billion.
Inflation (2005 est.): 14%.
Real growth rate (2004 est.): 3.9%.
Per capita income (2004): $4,670. (PPP $9,600--2004 est.)
Unemployment (2004 est.): 6.6%.
Currency: Costa Rica Colon (CRC).
Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, forest products, fisheries products.
Agriculture (8.5% of GDP): Products--bananas, coffee, beef, sugarcane, rice, dairy products, vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants.
Industry (29.7% of GDP): Types--electronic components, food processing, textiles and apparel, construction materials, cement, fertilizer.
Commerce and tourism (61.8% of GDP): Hotels, restaurants, tourist services, banks, and insurance.
Trade (2004 est.): Exports--$6.18 billion: Integrated circuits, bananas, pineapples, optical/medical equipment, knit and woven apparel, coffee, fish and seafood. Major markets--U.S. 44.1%, Europe 21%, Central America 9%. Imports--$7.84 billion: electronic components, machinery, vehicles, consumer goods, raw materials, chemicals, petroleum products, foods, and fertilizer. Major suppliers--U.S. 45.9%, Europe 10%, Mexico 3.7% Central America 5%, Japan 4.8%, Venezuela 4%.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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