Teach English Abroad   Country Information

Look through the comprehensive fundamental information about the Republic of Costa Rica in order to be prepared for the life in this country when deciding to teach English there.
 
Country Information
costa_ricaNational name: República de Costa Rica
President: Abel Pacheco (2002)
Area: 19,730 sq mi (51,100 sq km)
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): San José, 1,527,300 (metro. area), 337,200 (city proper)
Monetary unit: Colón

Population (2005 est.): 4,016,173 (growth rate: 1.5%);
- birth rate: 18.6/1000;
- infant mortality rate: 9.9/1000;
- life expectancy: 76.8;
- density per sq mi: 204

Language:
- Spanish (official),
- English

Ethnicity/race:
- white (including mestizo) 94%,
- black 3%,
- Amerindian 1%,
- Chinese 1%,
- other 1%  
Religion:
- Roman Catholic 76.3%,
- Evangelical 13.7%,
- Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%,
- other Protestant 0.7%,
- other 4.8%,

- none 3.2% 
  
Literacy rate: 96% (2003 est.)

Economic summary:
- GDP/PPP (2004 est.): $37.97 billion; per capita $9,600.
- Real growth rate: 3.9%.
- Inflation: 11.5%.
- Unemployment: 6.6%.
- Arable land: 4%.
- Agriculture: coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber.
- Labor force: 1.81 million; agriculture 20%, industry 22%, services 58% (1999 est.).
- Industries: microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.
- Natural resources: hydropower.
- Exports: $6.176 billion (2003 est.): coffee, bananas, sugar; pineapples; textiles, electronic components, medical equipment.
- Imports: $7.057 billion (2003 est.): raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum.
- Major trading partners: U.S., Netherlands, UK, Japan, Mexico.

Communications:
- Telephones: main lines in use: 450,000 (1998); mobile cellular: 143,000 (2000).
- Radio broadcast stations: AM 50, FM 43, shortwave 19 (1998).
costa_rica- Radios: 980,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 6 (plus 11 repeaters) (1997).
- Televisions: 525,000 (1997).
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (of which only one is legal) (2000).
- Internet users: 384,000 (2002).

Transportation:
- Railways: total: 950 km (2002).
- Highways: total: 35,892 km; paved: 7,896 km; unpaved: 27,996 km (2000).
- Waterways: 730 km, seasonally navigable.
- Ports and harbors: Caldera, Golfito, Moin, Puerto Limon, Puerto Quepos, Puntarenas.
- Airports: 151 (2002).