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Costa Rica

Costa Rica (/ˌkɒstə ˈriːkə/; Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika]; literally meaning "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island.

It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San José.

Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous people before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century.

It remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the short-lived First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the United Provinces of Central America, from which it formally declared sovereignty in 1847.

Since then, Costa Rica has remained among the most stable, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America.

Following a brief but bloody civil war, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.

Costa Rica is an observing member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

The country has consistently performed favourably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 69th in the world as of 2015, among the highest of any Latin American nation.

It has also been cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region.

Its rapidly developing economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism.

Costa Rica is known for its progressive environmental policies, being the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability.

It was ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's (NEF) Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability, and was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009.

Costa Rica officially plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021.

In 2012, it became the first country in the Americas to ban recreational hunting.

Region:Latin America & Caribbean
Income Level:Upper middle income
Population, total:4,905,769 (2017)
Capital:San Jose
Longitude:-84.0089
Latitude:9.63701
Merchandise trade (% of GDP)

Merchandise trade as a share of GDP is the sum of merchandise exports and imports divided by the value of GDP, all in current U.S. dollars.
Source:World Trade Organization, and World Bank GDP estimates.

Time required to start a business (days)

Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
Source:World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).

Exports of goods and services (BoP, current US$)

Exports of goods and services comprise all transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world involving a change of ownership from residents to nonresidents of general merchandise, net exports of goods under merchanting, nonmonetary gold, and services. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
Source:International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook and data files.

Imports of goods and services (BoP, current US$)

Imports of goods and services comprise all transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world involving a change of ownership from nonresidents to residents of general merchandise, nonmonetary gold, and services. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
Source:International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook and data files.

Central America

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