The World Factbook (1982)/Costa Rica

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Costa Rica


World Factbook (1982) Costa Rica.jpg
(See reference map III)


51,000 km²; 30% agricultural land (8% cultivated, 22% meadows and pasture), 60% forested, 10% waste, urban, and other

Land boundaries: 670 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (fishing 200 nm; specialized competence over living resources to 200 nm)

Coastline: 1,290 km


Population: 2,396,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.9%

Nationality: noun—Costa Rican(s); adjective—Costa Rican

Ethnic divisions: 98% white (including mestizo), 2% Negro

Religion: 95% Roman Catholic

Language: Spanish

Literacy: about 90%

Labor force: 770,000 (1980 est.); 26.9% agriculture; 16.2% manufacturing; 18.1% commerce; 7.9% construction; 6.4% transportation, utilities; 22.9% service (government, education, social); 0.2% other; 15% unemployment (1981 est.)

Organized labor: about 13.8% of labor force


Official name: Republic of Costa Rica

Type: unitary republic

Capital: San José

Political subdivisions: seven provinces

Legal system: based on Spanish civil law system; constitution adopted 1949; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; legal education at University of Costa Rica; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September

Branches: President, unicameral legislature, Supreme Court elected by legislature

Government leader: President Rodrigo CARAZO Odio until the inauguration of Luis Alberto MONGE on 8 May 1982

Suffrage: universal and compulsory age 18 and over

Elections: every four years; last, February 1982

Political parties and leaders: National Liberation Party (PLN), Luis Alberto Monge, Daniel Oduber, Jose "Pepe" Figueres; National Salvation Movement (MSN), Mario Echandi; Unity Coalition (UNIDAD) comprised of: Democratic Renovation Party (PRD), Rodrigo Carazo; Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Rafael Grillo Rivera; Republican Calderonista Party (PRC), Rafael Angel Calderón Fournier; Popular Union Party (PUP), Jos6 Joaquin Trejos Fernandez; United People's Coalition (PU) comprised of three Marxist parties: Popular Vanguard Party (PVP), Manuel Mora Valverde; Popular Revolutionary Movement (MRP), Sergio Erick Ardon; Socialist Party (PS), Alvaro Montero Mejia

Voting strength (1982 election): PLN 57.3%, 33 seats; UNIDAD 32.7%, 18 seats; PU 3.2%, 4 seats; MSN 3.7%, 1 seat; other, 1 seat

Communists: 10,000 members and sympathizers

Other political or pressure groups: Costa Rican Confederation of Democratic Workers (CCTD; Liberation Party affiliate), General Confederation of Workers (CGT; Communist Party affiliate), Chamber of Coffee Growers, National Association for Economic Development (ANFE); Free Costa Rica Movement (MCRL; rightwing militants)

Member of: CACM, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IPU, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, NAMUCAR (Caribbean Multinational Shipping Line—Naviera Multinacional del Caribe), OAS, ODECA, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPEB, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO


GDP: $4.8 billion (1980, in current prices), $2,109 per capita; 67.5% private consumption, 19.0% public consumption, 24.2% gross domestic investment, —10.7% net foreign balance (1980); 1.2% real growth rate (1980)

Agriculture: main products—bananas, coffee, sugarcane, rice, corn, cocoa, livestock products; caloric intake, 2,550 calories per day per capita (1977); protein intake 58 grams per day per capita (1974)

Fishing: catch 14,491 metric tons (1978); exports, $5.1 million (1976), imports, $0.3 million (1976)

Major industries: food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer

Electric power: 510,000 kW capacity (1980); 1.95 billion kWh produced (1980), 860 kWh per capita

Exports: $1,017 million (f.o.b., 1980); coffee, bananas, beef, sugar, cacao

Imports: $1,529 million (c.i.f., 1980); manufactured products, machinery, transportation equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, fertilizer

Major trade partners: exports—35% US, 27% CACM, 10% West Germany; imports—36% US, 17% CACM, 4% West Germany, 12% Japan (1980)

Aid: economic bilateral commitments—US authorized (FY70-80) including Ex-Im $142 million, other Western countries ODA and OOF (1970-79) $127 million, Communist (1971-74) $17 million; military commitments negligible

Budget: (1981) $825 million total revenues, $1,209 million total expenditures including debt amortization

Monetary conversion rate: 2.0 colones=US$1

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 790 km total; 740 km 1.067-meter gauge, 50 km 0.914-meter gauge, all single track, 160 km electrified

Highways: 28,235 km total; 2,425 km paved, 9,360 km gravel, 16,450 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: about 730 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: refined products, 318 km

Ports: 3 major (Lim6n, Golfito, Puntarenas), 4 minor

Civil air: 14 major transport aircraft, including 2 leased in

Airfields: 217 total, 216 usable; 27 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 9 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: good domestic telephone service; 145,000 telephones (6.7 per 100 pop!.); connection into Central American microwave net; 55 AM, 10 FM, and 15 TV stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 619,000; 422,000 fit for military service; about 28,000 reach military age (18) annually

Supply: dependent on imports from US

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 31 December 1981, $13.9 million for Ministry of Public Security, including the Civil Guard; about 2.6% of total central government budget