Costa Rica - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

Since 2010, Costa Rica has enjoyed strong and stable economic growth - 3.8% in 2017. Exports of bananas, coffee, sugar, and beef are the backbone of its commodity exports. Various industrial and processed agricultural products have broadened exports in recent years, as have high value-added goods, including medical devices. Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity also makes it a key destination for ecotourism. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and relatively high education levels, as well as the incentives offered in the free-trade zones;...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2017 5,630,710,176,400 5,619,222,701,500 NCU Annual
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2017 5,141,483,821,700 5,304,757,597,700 NCU Annual
Real Investment 2017 5,342,862,300,700 5,248,546,497,400 NCU Annual
Private Consumption 2017 Q4 5,434,713,322,066 5,154,341,201,337 CRC, NSA Quarterly
Investment 2017 Q4 1,497,298,983,220 1,337,421,921,718 CRC, NSA Quarterly
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2017 Q4 8,598,807,689,113 7,948,246,400,338 CRC, NSA Quarterly
Government Consumption 2016 Q4 1,569 1,234 Bil. CRC Quarterly
Real Gross Domestic Product 2016 Q4 129.95 125.3 Index 2005=100 Quarterly
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Sep 2018 126.32 126.04 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Producer Price Index (PPI) Dec 2017 126.23 126.13 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Wholesale Price Index 1993 161.06 151.37 Index 2010 = 100 Annual
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 274,279 275,157 # Annual
Labor Force 2016 2,252,808 2,322,230 # Annual
Unemployment 2016 196.96 218.8 Ths. Annual
Unemployment Rate 2016 8.98 9.61 % Annual
Labor Force Employment 2016 1,995 2,057 Ths. Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Current Account Balance 2018 Q2 -651,567,868 -282,333,952 USD, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods 2018 Q2 4,178,393,065 3,730,002,875 USD, NSA Quarterly
Balance of Goods 2018 Q2 -1,141,649,849 -935,286,639 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods 2018 Q2 3,036,743,216 2,794,716,235 USD, NSA Quarterly
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2017 9,775,882,436,500 9,322,719,383,500 NCU Annual
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2017 10,508,894,601,800 10,203,504,775,100 NCU Annual
Exports of Goods and Services 2017 Q4 2,804,903,166,583 2,739,373,648,185 CRC, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods and Services 2017 Q4 2,920,803,458,811 2,677,205,310,097 CRC, NSA Quarterly
Government Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Gross External Debt 2018 Q1 9,745,440,537 9,519,753,463 USD, NSA Quarterly
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Lending Rate Jun 2017 4.5 4 % Monthly
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Change in Inventories 2017 249,355,279,700 -55,551,464,600 NCU Annual
Real Change in Inventories 2014 -50,406,900,000 -9,046,400,000 NCU Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Net Migration 2017 16,384 # Annual
Population 2017 4,905,769 4,857,274 # Annual
Birth Rate 2016 14.29 14.52 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2016 4.94 4.88 # per Ths. pop. Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. On 1 December 1948, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.

Geography

Location:
Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
Geographic coordinates:
10 00 N, 84 00 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
total: 51,100 sq km
land: 51,060 sq km
water: 40 sq km
note: includes Isla del Coco
country comparison to the world: 130
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
total: 661 km
border countries (2): Nicaragua 313 km, Panama 348 km
Coastline:
1,290 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Terrain:
coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major active volcanoes
Elevation:
mean elevation: 746 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,819 m
Natural resources:
hydropower
Land use:
agricultural land: 37.1%
arable land 4.9%; permanent crops 6.7%; permanent pasture 25.5%
forest: 51.5%
other: 11.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
1,015 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
roughly half of the nation's population resides in urban areas; the capital of San Jose is the largest city and home to approximately one-fifth of the population
Natural hazards:
occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes
volcanism: Arenal (1,670 m), which erupted in 2010, is the most active volcano in Costa Rica; a 1968 eruption destroyed the town of Tabacon; Irazu (3,432 m), situated just east of San Jose, has the potential to spew ash over the capital city as it did between 1963 and 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Miravalles, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, and Turrialba
Environment - current issues:
deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
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

People & Society

Population:
4,930,258 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Nationality:
noun: Costa Rican(s)
adjective: Costa Rican
Ethnic groups:
white or mestizo 83.6%, mulato 6.7%, indigenous 2.4%, black of African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)
Languages:
Spanish (official), English
Religions:
Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%
Demographic profile:
Costa Rica's political stability, high standard of living, and well-developed social benefits system set it apart from its Central American neighbors. Through the government's sustained social spending - almost 20% of GDP annually - Costa Rica has made tremendous progress toward achieving its goal of providing universal access to education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Since the 1970s, expansion of these services has led to a rapid decline in infant mortality, an increase in life expectancy at birth, and a sharp decrease in the birth rate. The average number of children born per women has fallen from about 7 in the 1960s to 3.5 in the early 1980s to below replacement level today. Costa Rica's poverty rate is lower than in most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades.
Costa Rica is a popular regional immigration destination because of its job opportunities and social programs. Almost 9% of the population is foreign-born, with Nicaraguans comprising nearly three-quarters of the foreign population. Many Nicaraguans who perform unskilled seasonal labor enter Costa Rica illegally or overstay their visas, which continues to be a source of tension. Less than 3% of Costa Rica's population lives abroad. The overwhelming majority of expatriates have settled in the United States after completing a university degree or in order to work in a highly skilled field.
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.61% (male 570,063/female 544,502)
15-24 years: 16.35% (male 410,993/female 394,865)
25-54 years: 44.03% (male 1,092,504/female 1,078,458)
55-64 years: 9.2% (male 220,879/female 232,530)
65 years and over: 7.82% (male 177,882/female 207,582) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 45.4
youth dependency ratio: 32.4
elderly dependency ratio: 12.9
potential support ratio: 7.7 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 31.3 years
male: 30.8 years
female: 31.8 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
Population growth rate:
1.16% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
Birth rate:
15.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
Death rate:
4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
Net migration rate:
0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
Population distribution:
roughly half of the nation's population resides in urban areas; the capital of San Jose is the largest city and home to approximately one-fifth of the population
Urbanization:
urban population: 78.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
SAN JOSE (capital) 1.17 million (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Maternal mortality ratio:
25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
Infant mortality rate:
total: 8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.7 years
male: 76.1 years
female: 81.5 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
76.2% (2011)
Health expenditures:
9.3% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 33
Physicians density:
1.15 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density:
1.1 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 91.9% of population
total: 97.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 8.1% of population
total: 2.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 95.2% of population
rural: 92.3% of population
total: 94.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.8% of population
rural: 7.7% of population
total: 5.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.4% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
13,000 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
<500 (2016 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
25.7% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 48
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
1.1% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 130
Education expenditures:
7.1% of GDP (2016)
country comparison to the world: 34
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 97.7%
female: 97.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2015)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 23.3%
male: 18.8%
female: 31.7% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica
conventional short form: Costa Rica
local long form: Republica de Costa Rica
local short form: Costa Rica
etymology: the name means "rich coast" in Spanish and was first applied in the early colonial period of the 16th century
Government type:
presidential republic
Capital:
name: San Jose
geographic coordinates: 9 56 N, 84 05 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
Independence:
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution:
previous 1825; latest effective 8 November 1949; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal system:
civil law system based on Spanish civil code; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Carlos ALVARADO Quesada (since 8 May 2018); First Vice President Epsy CAMPBELL Barr (since 8 May 2018); Second Vice President Marvin RODRIGUEZ Cordero (since 8 May 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Carlos ALVARADO Quesada (since 8 May 2018); First Vice President Epsy CAMPBELL Barr (since 8 May 2018); Second Vice President Marvin RODRIGUEZ Cordero (since 8 May 2018)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice presidents directly elected on the same ballot by modified majority popular vote (40% threshold) for a 4-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); election last held on 4 February 2018 with a runoff on 1 April 2018 (next to be held in February 2022)
election results: Carlos ALVARADO Quesada elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Fabricio ALVARADO Munoz (PRN) 25%; Carlos ALVARADO Quesada (PAC) 21.6%; Antonio ALVAREZ (PLN) 18.6%; Rodolfo PIZA (PUSC) 16%; Juan Diego CASTRO (PIN) 9.5%; Rodolfo HERNANDEZ (PRS) 4.9%, other 4.4%; percent of vote in second round - Carlos ALVARADO Quesada (PAC) 60.7%; Fabricio ALVARADO Munoz (PRN) 39.3%
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (57 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 7 provinces - by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 4 February 2018 (next to be held in February 2022)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLN 19.5%, PRN 18.2%, PAC 16.3%, PUSC 14.6%, PLN 7.7%, PRS 4.2%, PFA 4%; seats by party - PLN 17, PRN 14, PAC 10, PUSC 9, PLN 4, PRS 2, PFA 1
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 22 judges organized into 3 cassation chambers each with 5 judges and the Constitutional Chamber with 7 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges elected by the National Assembly for 8-year terms with renewal decided by the National Assembly
subordinate courts: appellate courts; trial courts; first instance and justice of the peace courts; Superior Electoral Tribunal
Political parties and leaders:
Accessibility Without Exclusion or PASE [Oscar Andres LOPEZ Arias]
Broad Front (Frente Amplio) or PFA [Ana Patricia MORA Castellanos]
Citizen Action Party or PAC [Marcia GONZALEZ Aguiluz]
Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC [Gonzalo Alberto RAMIREZ Zamora]
Libertarian Movement Party or ML [Victor Danilo CUBERO Corrales]
National Integration Party or PIN [Walter MUNOZ Cespedes]
National Liberation Party or PLN [Jorge Julio PATTONI Saenz]
National Restoration Party or PRN [Carlos Luis AVENDANO Calvo]
Patriotic Alliance [Jorge ARAYA Westover]
Social Christian Republican Party or PRS [Dragos DOLANESCU Valenciano]
Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC [Pedro MUNOZ Fonseca]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Authentic Confederation of Democratic Workers or CATD (Communist Party affiliate)
National Chamber of Coffee Growers
Confederated Union of Workers or CUT (Communist Party affiliate)
Confederation of Workers Rerum Novarum or CTRN (National Libertion Party affiliate)
Costa Rican Confederation of Democratic Workers or CCTD (National Libertion Party affiliate)
Costa Rican Exporter's Chamber or CADEXCO
Costa Rican Solidarity Movement
Costa Rican Union of Private Sector Enterprises or UCCAEP
Federation of Public Service Workers or FTSP
National Association for Economic Development or ANFE
National Association of Educators or ANDE
National Association of Public and Private Employees or ANEP
International organization participation:
BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roman MACAYA Hayes (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 2114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 480-2200
FAX: [1] (202) 265-4795
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington DC
consulate(s): Saint Paul (MN), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tucson (AZ)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sharon DAY (since 5 October 2017)
embassy: Calle 98 Via 104, Pavas, San Jose
mailing address: APO AA 34020
telephone: [506] 2519-2000
FAX: [506] 2519-2305
Flag description:
five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms in a white elliptical disk placed toward the hoist side of the red band; Costa Rica retained the earlier blue-white-blue flag of Central America until 1848 when, in response to revolutionary activity in Europe, it was decided to incorporate the French colors into the national flag and a central red stripe was added; today the blue color is said to stand for the sky, opportunity, and perseverance, white denotes peace, happiness, and wisdom, while red represents the blood shed for freedom, as well as the generosity and vibrancy of the people
note: somewhat resembles the flag of North Korea; similar to the flag of Thailand but with the blue and red colors reversed
National symbol(s):
yiguirro (clay-colored robin); national colors: blue, white, red
National anthem:
name: "Himno Nacional de Costa Rica" (National Anthem of Costa Rica)
lyrics/music: Jose Maria ZELEDON Brenes/Manuel Maria GUTIERREZ
note: adopted 1949; the anthem's music was originally written for an 1853 welcome ceremony for diplomatic missions from the US and UK; the lyrics were added in 1903

Economy

Economy - overview:
Since 2010, Costa Rica has enjoyed strong and stable economic growth - 3.8% in 2017. Exports of bananas, coffee, sugar, and beef are the backbone of its commodity exports. Various industrial and processed agricultural products have broadened exports in recent years, as have high value-added goods, including medical devices. Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity also makes it a key destination for ecotourism.
Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and relatively high education levels, as well as the incentives offered in the free-trade zones; Costa Rica has attracted one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Latin America. The US-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which became effective for Costa Rica in 2009, helped increase foreign direct investment in key sectors of the economy, including insurance and telecommunication. However, poor infrastructure, high energy costs, a complex bureaucracy, weak investor protection, and uncertainty of contract enforcement impede greater investment.
Costa Rica’s economy also faces challenges due to a rising fiscal deficit, rising public debt, and relatively low levels of domestic revenue. Poverty has remained around 20-25% for nearly 20 years, and the government’s strong social safety net has eroded due to increased constraints on its expenditures. Costa Rica’s credit rating was downgraded from stable to negative in 2015 and again in 2017, upping pressure on lending rates - which could hurt small business, on the budget deficit - which could hurt infrastructure development, and on the rate of return on investment - which could soften foreign direct investment (FDI). Unlike the rest of Central America, Costa Rica is not highly dependent on remittances - which represented just 1 % of GDP in 2016, but instead relies on FDI - which accounted for 5.1% of GDP.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$85.2 billion (2017 est.)
$82.08 billion (2016 est.)
$78.68 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 92
GDP (official exchange rate):
$58.91 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.8% (2017 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
4.7% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$17,200 (2017 est.)
$16,700 (2016 est.)
$16,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 101
Gross national saving:
16.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 63.6%
government consumption: 17.2%
investment in fixed capital: 19.3%
investment in inventories: 0.4%
exports of goods and services: 32.9%
imports of goods and services: -33.3% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 21%
services: 73.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef, poultry, dairy; timber
Industries:
medical equipment, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Industrial production growth rate:
4.4% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
Labor force:
2.229 million
note: official estimate; excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 22%
services: 64% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:
8.1% (2017 est.)
9.3% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
Population below poverty line:
21.7% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 36.9% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
48.5 (2014 est.)
49.2 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Budget:
revenues: $8.262 billion
expenditures: $11.34 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
14% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-5.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
Public debt:
66.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
62.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.7% (2017 est.)
0% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Central bank discount rate:
3.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
21.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
11.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
11.64% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Stock of narrow money:
$5.765 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.536 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Stock of broad money:
$22.52 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$21.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
Stock of domestic credit:
$34.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$33.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$2.015 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.443 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.445 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Current account balance:
$-2.291 billion (2017 est.)
$-1.88 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Exports:
$10.55 billion (2017 est.)
$10.15 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
Exports - commodities:
bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; beef; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
Exports - partners:
US 41%, Netherlands 5.8%, Panama 5.7%, Belgium 5.4%, Nicaragua 5.2%, Guatemala 5.2% (2016)
Imports:
$15.55 billion (2017 est.)
$14.66 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Imports - commodities:
raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
Imports - partners:
US 37.1%, China 13.5%, Mexico 6.9% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$7.523 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.574 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Debt - external:
$25.83 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$24.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$35.01 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$31.84 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$4.327 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.781 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Exchange rates:
Costa Rican colones (CRC) per US dollar -
573.5 (2017 est.)
544.74 (2016 est.)
544.74 (2015 est.)
534.57 (2014 est.)
538.32 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 24,362
electrification - total population: 99.5%
electrification - urban areas: 99.9%
electrification - rural areas: 98.3% (2013)
Electricity - production:
10.38 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Electricity - consumption:
9.113 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
Electricity - exports:
643 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
Electricity - imports:
537 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
3.127 million kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
21% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
62% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
17.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
54,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Refined petroleum products - imports:
53,140 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
7.616 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 849,826
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 8,330,664
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 169 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Telephone system:
general assessment: good domestic telephone service in terms of breadth of coverage
domestic: point-to-point and point-to-multi-point microwave, fiber-optic, and coaxial cable link rural areas; Internet service is available
international: country code - 506; landing points for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), MAYA-1, and the Pan American Crossing submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media:
multiple privately owned TV stations and 1 publicly owned TV station; cable network services are widely available; more than 100 privately owned radio stations and a public radio network (2017)
Internet country code:
.cr
Internet users:
total: 3,217,277
percent of population: 66.0% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 39
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,617,075
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 9,284,160 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
TI (2016)
Airports:
161 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 35
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 47
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 16 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 114
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 96 (2013)
Pipelines:
refined products 662 km (2013)
Railways:
total: 278 km
narrow gauge: 278 km 1.067-m gauge
note: the entire rail network fell into disrepair and out of use at the end of the 20th century; since 2005, certain sections of rail have been rehabilitated (2014)
country comparison to the world: 124
Roadways:
total: 39,018 km
paved: 10,133 km
unpaved: 28,885 km (2010)
country comparison to the world: 90
Waterways:
730 km (seasonally navigable by small craft) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 74
Merchant marine:
total: 10
by type: general cargo 2, other 8 (2017)
country comparison to the world: 147
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean) - Puerto Limon; Pacific Ocean - Caldera

Military & Security

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Ministry of Public Security, Government, and Police (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Costa Rica and Nicaragua regularly file border dispute cases over the delimitations of the San Juan River and the northern tip of Calero Island to the International Court of Justice (ICJ); in 2009, the ICJ ruled that Costa Rican vessels carrying out police activities could not use the river, but official Costa Rican vessels providing essential services to riverside inhabitants and Costa Rican tourists could travel freely on the river; in 2011, the ICJ provisionally ruled that both countries must remove personnel from the disputed area; in 2013, the ICJ rejected Nicaragua's 2012 suit to halt Costa Rica's construction of a highway paralleling the river on the grounds of irreparable environmental damage; in 2013, the ICJ, regarding the disputed territory, ordered that Nicaragua should refrain from dredging or canal construction and refill and repair damage caused by trenches connecting the river to the Caribbean and upheld its 2010 ruling that Nicaragua must remove all personnel; in early 2014, Costa Rica brought Nicaragua to the ICJ over offshore oil concessions in the disputed region
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 11,189 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2018)
stateless persons: 127 (2016)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Costa Rican women and children, as well as those from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries, are sex trafficked in Costa Rica; child sex tourism is a particular problem with offenders coming from the US and Europe; men and children from Central America, including indigenous Panamanians, and Asia are exploited in agriculture, construction, fishing, and commerce; Nicaraguans transit Costa Rica to reach Panama, where some are subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Costa Rica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts declined in 2014, with fewer prosecutions and no convictions and no actions taken against complicit government personnel; some officials conflated trafficking with smuggling, and authorities reported the diversion of funds to combat smuggling hindered anti-trafficking efforts; the government identified more victims than the previous year but did not make progress in ensuring that victims received adequate protective services; specialized services were limited and mostly provided by NGOs without government support, even from a dedicated fund for anti-trafficking efforts; victims services were virtually non-existent outside of the capital (2015)
Illicit drugs:
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

Economic Indicators for Costa Rica including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Costa Rica economy.