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Costa Rica Facts

February 26, 2011

Population: 4,331,000
Capital: San José; 1,085,000
Area: 51,100 square kilometers (19,730 square miles)
Language: Spanish, English
Religion: Roman Catholic, Evangelical
Currency: Costa Rican colon
Life Expectancy: 79
GDP per Capita: U.S. $8,300
Literacy Percent: 96

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Located in Central America, Costa Rica has coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The tropical coastal plains rise to mountains, active volcanoes, and a temperate central plateau where most people live (San José, the capital, is here). The only country in Central America with no standing army, it enjoys continuing stability after a century of almost uninterrupted democratic government. Tourism, which has overtaken bananas as Costa Rica‘s leading foreign exchange earner, bolsters the economy. A quarter of the land in Costa Rica  has protected status; the beauty of rain forest preserves draws more and more visitors.

Economy

Industry: Microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials
Agriculture: Coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar; beef; timber
Exports: Coffee, bananas, sugar, pineapples, textiles
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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