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currency: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
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CostaRica profile
Four volcanoes, two of them active, rise near the capital of San Jose in the center of the country;

one of the volcanoes, Irazu, erupted destructively in 1963-65
CostaRica history
Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. In 1949, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
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Conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica
Conventional short form: Costa Rica
Local long form: Republica de Costa Rica
Local short form: Costa Rica
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CostaRica's capital city is San Jose
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CostaRica Constitution:

7 November 1949
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CostaRica population growth rate: 1.288%
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CostaRica highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m
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CostaRica lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
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About 4% of CostaRica's land is arable.
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Río Térraba is the Longest River in CostaRica
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CostaRica birth rate is 16 births/1,000 population
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CostaRica infant mortality rate is 9 deaths/1,000 live births
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CostaRica fertility rate is 1.91 children born/woman
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CostaRica climate:

tropical and subtropical;
dry season (December to April);
rainy season (May to November);
cooler in highlands
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Top 10 cities of CostaRica with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. San José: 309,672
2. Puerto Limón: 55,667
3. Alajuela: 42,889
4. Heredia: 40,840
5. Cinco Esquinas: 36,627
6. Desamparados: 36,437
7. Liberia: 34,469
8. Puntarenas: 32,460
9. San Vicente: 31,693
10. Barranca: 31,386
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CostaRica ethnic groups:

white (including mestizo) - 94%
black - 3%
Amerindian - 1%
Chinese - 1%
other - 1%
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CostaRica Exports:

bananas
pineapples
coffee
melons
ornamental plants
sugar
beef
seafood
electronic components
medical equipment
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CostaRica Imports:

raw materials
consumer goods
capital equipment
petroleum
construction materials
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unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (57 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose
Political parties and leaders:
Accessibility Without Exclusion or PASE [Oscar Andres LOPEZ Arias]; Citizen Action Party or PAC [Elizabeth FONSECA]; Costa Rican Renovation Party or PRC [Gerardo Justo OROZCO Alvarez]; Broad Front (Frente Amplio) or PFA [Jose MERINO del Rio]; Libertarian Movement Party or PML [Otto GUEVARA Guth]; National Integration Party or PIN [Walter MUNOZ Cespedes]; National Liberation Party or PLN [Bernal JIMENEZ]; National Restoration Party or PRN; Patriotic Alliance [Mariano FIGUERES Olsen]; Popular Vanguard [Trino BARRANTES Araya]; Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC [Gerardo VARGAS]