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Economy of Costa Rica

The economy of Costa Rica is very stable, and depends essentially on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports.

According to a study conducted by ADEN Business School (which included 18 other countries in the region), Costa Rica is the fourth most competitive country in Latin America in 2012 and is part of a block of countries rated as having a "very good competitive level, with advances and developments in infrastructure, technology and macroeconomic stability". The nation scored a 71.8 out of 100 on a study which measured competitiveness based on 10 criteria. Compared to the 2011 rank, Costa Rica went up by one position (from 5th to 4th).

The CIA World Factbook states that Costa Rica's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is US$12,900 (2013 est.); the reported GDP summed in 2012 to US$45.1bn with a population of 4,805,000. The World Bank General Government Public Sector Debt (PSDGG) statistics showed a linear rise from US$8bn in 2009 to US$18bn in 2014, which translates to a growth rate of 12%. The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos is charged with measuring other economic performance measures. Poverty has remained around 15-20% for nearly 20 years, and the strong social safety net that had been put into place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures.

Hybrid electronic circuits was the leading durable export category in 2013, followed by pineapple, banana, medical equipment, medical bioproducts, and coffee, juices, prosthetics, and surgery tools; these categories added up to over 50% of exports. Miscellaneous circuits including telephones and miscellaneous petroleum products added to just under 25% of imports.

On a consolidated basis, including Central Bank losses and parastatal enterprise profits, the public sector deficit was 2.3% of GDP. Costa Rica had a formal line of credit with the World Bank valued at US$947M in April 2014, of which US$645M had been accessed and US$600M remained outstanding.

Natural resources

One-fourth of Costa Rica's land is dedicated to national forests, often adjoining beaches, which has made the country a popular destination for affluent retirees and ecotourists. It has one of the best economies in Latin America. Because of the ocean access 23.7% of Costa Ricas people fish and trade their catches to fish companies. In terms of the 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranking, Costa Rica is 5th in the world, and first among the Americas.


With a $1.92-billion-a-year tourism industry, Costa Rica stands as the most visited nation in the Central American region, with 2.42 million foreign visitors in 2013, thus reaching a rate of foreign tourists per capita of 0.51, one of the highest in the Caribbean Basin, and above other popular destinations such as Mexico (0.21), Dominican Republic (0.38), and Brazil (0.03).


Costa Rica's economy was historically based on agriculture, and this has had a large cultural impact through the years. Costa Rica's main cash crops, both historically and up to modern times, were Coffee and Bananas. Coffee, especially, had much cultural and political importance during the 1800s, being the crop that brought a newfound wealth to the nation's elite. But this crop has decreased in value to the point where it added only 2.5% to the 2013 exports of the country.

Agriculture also plays a profound part in that country's gross domestic product (GDP). It makes up about 6.5% of Costa Rica's GDP, and 14% of the labour force. Depending on location and altitude, many regions differ in agricultural crops and techniques. The main exports from the country include: bananas, pineapples, coffee, sugar, rice, vegetables, tropical fruits, ornamental plants, corn, and potatoes.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Costa Rica"

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