Population
4,857,274 (2016 estimate)

Gross Domestic Product
$85.781 billion (2017 estimate)

Inflation Rate
2.56% (January 2017)

Currency
Costa Rican Colon (CRC)

Calling Country Code
+506

Time Zone
UTC -6:00 (Central Standard Time)

San Jose (Capital)

Costa Rica, officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica (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 4.9 million; over 300,000 live in the capital and largest city, San José.

Costa Rica has been known for its stable democracy in a region that has had some instability and for its highly educated workforce, most of whom speak English. The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. Many foreign companies (manufacturing and services) operate in Costa Rica’s free trade zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.