Economy Overview: Costa Rica’s generally stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture and electronics exports. Poverty has been greatly reduced over the past 15 years, and a strong social security system has been established. Foreign investors are still attracted by the political stability in the country and the high level of education. Tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange. However, traditional export destinations are lagging behind in their development. Low coffee prices and global overproduction of bananas have hurt the agricultural sector. The government continues to struggle to reduce the large deficit and external debt, and is embarking on the necessary modernization of the state-owned electricity and telecommunications sectors. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Costa Rica Economics and Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $25 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $6,700 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 12.5%; industry: 30.7%; services: 56.8% (1999).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 20.6% (1999).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: 10% of the poorest families account for: 1.3%; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: 34.7% (1996).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 11% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 1.9 million people (1999).
Employment structure: agriculture 20%, industry 22%, services 58% (1999 est.).
Unemployment rate: 5.2% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $1.95 billion; expenditures: $2.4 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (1999 est.).
Spheres of economy: manufacturing of microprocessors, food industry, production of textiles and clothing, building materials, fertilizers, plastic products.
Growth in industrial production: 4.3% (2000).
Electricity generation: 5.805 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 2.41%; hydropower: 83.32%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 14.27% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 5.303 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 165 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 69 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: coffee, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, legumes, potatoes; beef; wood.
Exports: $6.1 billion (free on board, 1999 est.)
Exports: coffee, bananas, sugar; pineapples; textiles, electronic components, medical equipment.
Export partners: US 54.1%, EU 21.3%, Central America 8.6% (1999).
Imports: $5.9 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, oil.
Import partners: US 56.4%, EU 9%, Mexico 5.4%, Japan 4.7% (1999).
External debt: $4.2 billion (2000 est.). Economic aid recipient: $107.1 million (1995)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Costa Rican colón.
Currency code: CRC.
Exchange rate: CRC/USD -318.95 (2001), 308.19 (2000), 285.68 (1999), 257.23 (1998), 232.60 (1997), 207.69 (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 450,000 (584,000 main lines installed but only 450,000 used) (1998).
Mobile cellular phones: 143,000 (2000).
Telephone system: very good local telephone service; domestic: microwave point-to-point and point-to-multipoint systems, fiber optic and coaxial cables link rural areas; Internet access services are provided; international: attached to the Central American Microwave System; earth satellite stations: 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); 2 submarine cables (1999).
Broadcast stations: AM – 50, FM – 43, shortwave – 19 (1998).
Radio receivers: 980,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 6 (and 11 repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 525,000 (1997).
Internet country code: cr
Internet providers: 3 (of which only one is legal) (2000).
Number of users: 150,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 950 km; narrow gauge: 950 km (1.067 m gauge) (260 km electrified).
Roads: total: 37,273 km; coated: 7,827 km; unpaved: 29,446 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: about 730 km navigable depending on the season
Pipelines: for oil products – 176 km.
Ports and harbors: Golfito, Caldera, Limon, Moin, Puntarenas, Puerto Quepos.
Merchant fleet: total: 1 ship (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 1,716 gross register tons (no data on gross tonnage); different types of ships: passenger ships – 1 (est. 2000).
Airports: 152 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 29; from 2438 to 3047 m:2; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:19; less than 914 m: 7 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 123; from 914 to 1523 m:28; less than 914 m: 95 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: coast guard, air unit, forces of the Ministry of Public Security (Fuerza Publica).
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 1,035,090 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 692,973 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 38,411 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $69 million (1999)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.6% (1999).
International problems International disputes: dispute over the rights of navigation on the San Juan River on the border with Nicaragua.
Illicit drugs: transit country for cocaine and heroin from South America; illicit production of marijuana in small, dispersed areas; domestic consumption of cocaine (especially crack) is on the rise; those who previously only smuggled drugs are now becoming drug users.