General information about Costa Rica
The official name is the Republic of Costa Rica (Republica de Costa Rica).
Located in the southern part of Central America. The area is 51.1 thousand km2, including Cocos Island. Population 4.09 million people (2002). The official language is Spanish. The capital is San Jose (2.1 million people, 2002). National holiday – Independence Day on September 15. The monetary unit is the colon.
Possessions: Cocos Island, 87°2’W, 5°32’N (uninhabited) 480 km south of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The area is 26 km2.
Member of the UN (since 1945), OAS (since 1948), CAOR (since 1963), etc.
Geography of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located between 82°33′ and 85°57′ west longitude and 8°2′ and 11°13′ north latitude. It is washed from the west by the Pacific Ocean and from the east by the Caribbean Sea. The eastern Caribbean low-lying predominantly sandy coast (length 212 km) is elongated evenly. The elevated southwestern Pacific coast (length – 1.1 thousand km) is heavily indented by peninsulas (Santa Elena, Nicoya, Osa and Buriko), bays (Papagayo, Nicoya, Coronado, Golfo Dulce), replete with islands (the largest are Chira, San Lucas, Vena-do, Bejuco, Cavallo, Samara, Cagno, Violin).
In the north it borders on Nicaragua (the length of the border is 309 km), in the southeast – on Panama (363 km). Mountain ranges stretch from west to southeast, the highest point in Costa Rica is Mount Chirripo Grande (3819 m).
The river network is dense; many rivers are navigable in the lower and middle reaches (San Juan, Rio Frio, etc.), in the mountainous part they are suitable for generating electricity.
The soils of Costa Rica are very fertile. On the west coast, in the lower reaches of the Tempisque River, on the vast lowland near the Gulf of Nicoya and in the north in the coastal lowland – alluvial, on the Central Plateau – volcanic.
Plant and animal life is plentiful. Until the 16th century almost the entire territory of Costa Rica was covered with forests. Today, forests occupy less than 25% of the territory. There are 12 national parks and 6 reservations. Armadillos, porcupines, monkeys, puma, tapirs, jaguars are found in forests and bushes.
The underwater coastal world of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean abounds with shrimp and fish (swordfish, sailfish, tuna, etc.).
Costa Rica is poor in minerals. There are small deposits of gold and silver used since pre-Columbian times. In the 20th century oil reserves were discovered, as well as deposits of iron ore, manganese (estimated at 400 million tons), sulfur, bauxite (150 million tons).
According to Bridgat, the climate of Costa Rica is subequatorial. In low-lying coastal regions in the southwest of the Pacific coast, the average temperature in January is +23°C, in July +25°C, with 4,500–5,000 mm of precipitation per year. On the Central Plateau, the average temperature is +23°C and 1900 mm of precipitation falls. In mountainous areas at an altitude of 2300 m, the average temperature is +15°C.
Population of Costa Rica
According to the 2000 census, the population of Costa Rica was 3.93 million people.
Annual population growth has fallen to less than 4% thanks to family planning programs. In 2002, the average life expectancy was 78.6 years, incl. men 76.3, women 81. Birth rate in 2000 – 22.0%, mortality decreased from 22.1% in the 1930s. to less than 3.7% in 2002. Child mortality decreased from 166.7 pers. per 1000 newborns in 1927 to 10.2 people. in 2002.
Persons under the age of 19 make up 29% of the population; retirement age is 65 years.
In Costa Rica, 97% of school-age children are in school, half of them girls. Primary education is compulsory. More than 40% of adolescents aged 12-16 go to school. Only 4.4% of the adult population is illiterate.
Almost 90% of the population consists of descendants of Spanish and European colonists; OK. Mestizo 7%, African descent 3%. In the south, Indians (Boruka, Bribri, etc.) have survived in reservations, making up less than 1% of the population (about 10 thousand people), belonging to two language families: Maya-Otomi and Chibcha-Miskito. Almost all Costa Ricans speak their own version of Spanish. 90% of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Approximately 150 thousand people. associated with various Protestant denominations; 2.5 thousand people profess Judaism. There are adherents of Islam, Baha’is, Hindus, atheists.