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Country profile

Country Name

Republic of Costa Rica; República de Costa Rica

   

Government form

Presidential Republic

   

Government and Executive President

Dr. Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, Presidente de la República, PUSC (since 08.05.2002); next elections: 2006

   

Parliament

Asamblea Legislativa, 57 places, renovated every 4 years (last one on 03.02.2002); next elections: 2006

   

Parties/Elections

Legislative Period 2002 - 2006

Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC, christian democratic):19 places

Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN, social democratic):17 places

Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC, left-liberal): 8 places

Bloque Partiotico (Separated PAC): 6 places

Partido Movimiento Libertario (ML, right - liberal):5 places

Partido Renovación Costarricense PRC):1 place Neutral:1 place

   

Political division

Centralized, with the central power in San José, like other 6 provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guancaste, Heredia, Limón and Puntarenas; 81 cantons, 329 districts.

   

Capital

San José (345 599 Habitants; Province: 1,356 Million)

   

Main cities

Alajuela (189 981 Habitants), Cartago (129 190), Limón (67 784), Heredia (81 789), Liberia (43 856)

   

Borders

Nicaragua in the north, Panama in the south, the Pacific in the west and the Caribbean in the east.

   

Area

51 100 km2

   

Population

About 4 million. 95% of the habitants are descendants of the european conquerors, about 5% are africans, indians or asiatic; Nicaragua habitants. Increment of the population: about 2.8% per year.

   

Population structure

87% white, 7% half-caste, 2% black, 2% oriental, 0.5% indians groups, 1,5% others.

   

Religion

Freedom of religion is established. The official religion of the state is the Catholic - Roman Church, which embraces the biggest part of the habitants. There are also many protestants churches and 7 000 followers of the Methodist Church.

   

Official language

Spanish

   

Currency

Colón

   

National day

15 September (Independence in 1821)

   

International Partnerships

United Nations, UNESCO, FAO, WHO, UNCTAD, IWF, World Bank, WTO, IAEO, OAS, IDB (Interamerican Development Bank), SICA (System of Central America Integration), SIECA (System of Central America Economic Integration), BCIE (Central American Integration Bank), Central American Common Market, Association of Caribbean States.

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