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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: 4,931,223 (2014E—UN); 4,755,234 (2014E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Centers (2011E): SAN JOSÉ (288,054), Alajuela (254,886), Desamparados (208,411).

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

Monetary Unit: Colón (market rate October 1, 2014: 532.06 colónes = $1US).

President: Luis Guillermo SOLÍS (Citizen Action Party); elected on April 6, 2014, and inaugurated for a four-year term on May 8, succeeding Laura CHINCHILLA (National Liberation Party).

First Vice President: Helio FALLAS Venegas (Citizen Action Party); elected on ...

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