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Costa Rica

Republic of Costa Rica
República de Costa Rica

Political Status: Part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala that declared independence from Spain in September 1821; member of the United Provinces of Central America that was launched in 1824; autonomy reestablished in 1839; republic declared in 1848; democratic constitutional system instituted in 1899.

Area: 19, 575 sq. mi. (50, 700 sq. km.).

Population: 3, 925, 331 (2000C); 4, 497, 000 (2010E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): SAN JOSÉ (344, 000), Limón (62, 000), Alajuela (49, 000), San Francisco (46, 000).

Principal Language: Spanish (there is no “official” language).

Monetary Unit: Colón (market rate November 1, 2010: 513.85 colónes = $1US).

President: Laura CHINCHILLA (National Liberation Party); elected on February 7, 2010, and inaugurated for a four-year term on May 8, succeeding Oscar ARIAS Sánchez (National ...

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