Monday, October 11, 2010

I have to write about a country for my World Issues class, and since I am going to Costa Rica in December I figure it should research it a bit :)

Size:  total: 51,100 sq km
country comparison to the world: 129
four volcanoes, two of them active, rise near the capital of San Jose in the center of the country; one of the volcanoes, Irazu, erupted destructively in 1963-65

Population: 4,253,877 (July 2010 est.)
0-14 years: 26.7% (male 581,916/female 555,216)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 1,443,606/female 1,411,168)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 120,969/female 141,002) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 28.4 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 28.9 years (2010 est.)

Average lifespan:
Total population: 77.58 years
male: 74.96 years
female: 80.34 years (2010 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$29.32 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$10,900 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
$11,200 (2008 est.)
$11,100 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$48.51 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
$49.25 billion (2008 est.)
$48 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

Labor force:

2.121 million
country comparison to the world: 117
note: this official estimate excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica (2009 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 14%
industry: 22%
services: 64% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:

7.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
4.9% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

16% (2006 est.)

Costa Rican colones (CRC) per US dollar - 580.01 (2009)

Literacy rate:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.9%
male: 94.7%
female: 95.1% (2000 census)


transshipment country for cocaine and heroin from South America; illicit production of cannabis in remote areas; domestic cocaine consumption, particularly crack cocaine, is rising; significant consumption of amphetamines; seizures of smuggled cash in Costa Rica and at the main border crossing to enter Costa Rica from Nicaragua have risen in recent years (2008)

refugees (country of origin): 9,699-11,500 (Colombia) (2007)


Costa Rica has a good climate, and is prime for natural exports, such as tropical fruits (bananas, pineapples, coffee, sugar, seafood, etc). As well, they have a high literacy rate, with 94.9% of the population at literacy. The average life span is fairly high, at 77.58 years. The prevalence of AIDs is the same as it is in Canada- 0.4%. As well, the unemployment rate is fairly low- 7.8% (Canada is 8.3%). The standard of living is high, and the beautiful country attracts a great tourism industry. 

Costa Rica has  9,699-11,500 Columbian refugees. As well, they have quite a high infant mortality rate at 8.77 deaths/1,000 live births. As well, they have issues with illicit drugs, especially crack cocaine.


To talk about the future of Costa Rica, we have to consider what they value. In their flag,  the blue color is said to stand for the sky, opportunity, and perseverence, white denotes peace, happiness, and wisdom, while red represents the blood shed for freedom, as well as the generosity and vibrancy of the people. Using these as a guideline, we can see the direction they wish to head. Perhaps in the future, they will develop more medical technologies (as that is prevalent in their exports as well). Also, hopefully they will be able to get their infant mortality rate down and help people live longer, healthier lives. Also, in the future they could focus on harm reduction for the crack cocaine, which may actually help with the infant mortality rates.


  1. Oh nice, how long are you going to stay there?

  2. But what about their /culture/?

  3. well if the numbers are current they have a better unemployment rate than we do

  4. I would like to visit Costa Rica someday