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Welcome To Costa Rica
Country number
149
Selected MR Agencies

An Introduction to Costa Rica

North of the Isthmus of Panama lies Costa Rica. With a high Human Development Index and something of a star performer in sustainability, the country permanently abolished its army in 1949. According to the New Economics Foundation, this is both the happiest and the greenest country in the world. See full country profile.

Latest Research News from Latin America

Nov 13
Prague-based response:now, which provides AI-powered market research, has launched in the USA and appointed Dr. Frederick Barber as Managing Director of North America. Nov 13 2017
Nov 8
Financial giant American Express has launched a platform called Amex Advance, which uses machine learning techniques to help marketers customize target audiences, personalize experiences and measure their own marketing effectiveness. Nov 8 2017


1 current Latin American job:

Technical Account Manager, Tagging Operations, Puerto Rico, $ salary TBD - (posted Jul 26 2017)


Fast Facts
Map of Costa Rica
CAPITAL: San Jose
GOVERNMENT: presidential constitutional republic
AREA: 51,100 sq km
POPULATION: 4,576,562 (2011 est.)
MAJOR LANGUAGE: Official Language: Spanish
Vocano Poas, Costa Rica
Vocano Poas, Costa Rica


New Armies When the country abolished its military in 1949, it was said it would be 'replaced with an army of teachers' - and indeed the literacy rate in Costa Rica is now 94.9%, one of the highest in Latin America. It also attracts armies of tourists these days, earning it around $1.9bn annually. That's $1,000 per tourist (ie there are 1.9m of them), and it's the most visited nation in the Central American region.

This in turn is partly due to the country's armies of plants and animals. Accounting for only about 0.25% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity, with 25% of its area protected (another #1 ranking in the world) and almost zero deforestation. The Corcovado National Park is particularly famous, home to big cats and tapirs, and four species of monkey; while the Tortuguero National Park is (according to its name) 'full of turtles' and also home to both three-toed and two-toed sloth. The country is also home to the spiny-tailed iguana, the world's fastest running lizard.

A little More Knowledge?
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Costa Rica in Profile

North of the Isthmus of Panama lies Costa Rica. With a high Human Development Index and something of a star performer in sustainability, the country permanently abolished its army in 1949. According to the New Economics Foundation, this is both the happiest and the greenest country in the world.

Poor and isolated within the Spanish Empire, Costa Rica joined other Central American states in federation in the 1820s but withdrew and declared itself independent in 1838. Following a brief civil war in 1948, victorious rebels formed a government junta that abolished the military altogether, and oversaw the drafting of a new constitution by a democratically elected assembly. Since its first democratic election under this constitution in 1953, Costa Rica has held 13 presidential elections, the latest in 2010, all widely considered peaceful and transparent.

Some Business and General Info

GDP: $54.5bn (2011 est.); $12,520 per capita

Religions Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%

Currency: Costa Rican Colon - 519 CRC = $US 1

Telephone Code: +506

Research Industry

Costa Rica is the 65th largest research market in the world, and the 10th largest in Latin America. 65 percent of MR turnover comes from domestic clients and 35 percent from international. There ought to be an MR association in the world's happiest nation - we'll have to look harder for it...

Overview of Trade and Industry

By the standards of the region Costa Rica is a stable, prosperous country with a highly educated population and free trade incentives for investment and the country has attracted one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Latin America. However, the percentage of the population living in poverty (15 - 20) has remained static for nearly 20 years.

Recently Costa Rica has moved from a dependenc' on the traditional cash crops of bananas, pineapple and coffee to the more high tech industries of pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing and software development. Companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Procter and Gamble and Intel are now established and, in 2006, Intel alone was responsible for 20% of Costa Rican exports and 4.9% of the country's GDP. Another big success is the development of ecotourism. Due to its huge bio-diversity Costa Rica now earns $2.2 billion per year from foreign visitors. It is the most visited nation in the Central American region and tourism now earns more foreign exchange than bananas and coffee combined.

Other exports include melons, ornamental plants, sugar, beef and seafood. Exports go mainly to the US (34%), China (12%), the Netherlands (12%) and the UK (12%). The country imports raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum and construction materials from the US (40%), Mexico (7%), Japan(6%) and China (5%). Exports totalled $8.8bn in 2009 and imports $10.9bn.

My view
from...
Costa Rica
Researchers Talk!
Have your say!
If you are a researcher based in Costa Rica, in whatever capacity, then we would love to hear from you!

Email me:
laurence@mrweb.com

Views from...

Happy to write us a couple of paragraphs on happy times spent doing MR in happy Costa Rica? We'd be [ok ok] very pleased to receive it.