Costa Rica Economy and Culture

By | June 26, 2021


How is Costa Rica’s economy doing?

Not only politically, but also economically, Costa Rica is a stable country. In the Human Development Index it is ranked 68 of 189 countries. Of the Central American countries, only Panama is better off (67th place).

The export is still based on agricultural products, but also technology will become a place. The main trading partner is the USA. Tourism is becoming more and more important, with the country relying on ecotourism that is compatible with nature.

The distribution of income is more equitable than in the northern neighboring countries. Most of the farmers also own the land they cultivate. Only three percent of the population lives below the international poverty line, which is known as extreme poverty. After all, around 22 percent live below the national poverty line, so they are also poor.

Pineapple, bananas and coffee

Agriculture only contributes 5.5 percent to the gross domestic product. Bananas are grown on large plantations, especially on the Caribbean coast. Costa Rica ranks tenth among the largest banana producers in the world. However, pineapple has well replaced the banana as the most important export.

Coffee is mainly grown in the central plateau. It was the main export product in the 1980s, but falling world market prices caused its cultivation to decline. Costa Rica is now in twelfth place among coffee producers.

Other agricultural products for export are melons, macadamia nuts, and ornamental plants. Sugar cane, coconuts, palm oiland beef are produced to a lesser extent. 14 percent of the working population works in agriculture.

Computer chips, sugar and clothes

The industry generates 20.6 percent, the share of those working here is almost the same (22 percent). Computer chips are built, food is processed and clothing is made, and there are factories for sugar, fertilizers and medical devices. Some overseas companies have invested in Costa Rica. The chip manufacturer Intel employs around 3500 people.


As a country located in Central America according to simplyyellowpages, Costa Rica is a service society. The services contribute 73 percent to the gross domestic product. 64 percent work in this area.

Tourism, which the state operates specifically as ecotourism, now has a large share. In 2016, 2.9 million tourists came to Costa Rica.

90 percent of electricity is obtained from renewable energies, primarily from hydropower. The country plays a pioneering role worldwide in climate and environmental protection.

Everyday Life

How do people in Costa Rica live?

Imagine it’s always warm. You don’t need a heater and you don’t need winter jackets or thick boots. That’s exactly how it is in Costa Rica! And: It’s pretty green too! There are rainforests, mountain and cloud forests.

Of course, anyone who lives in San José, the capital, does not notice that much of it. It’s loud here, lots of cars are driving through the streets. What you don’t see are soldiers, because Costa Rica doesn’t have an army. In contrast to El Salvador or Honduras, it is still (or perhaps because of it) peaceful here. Costa Rica is a fairly safe country. The Costa Ricans are said to be the happiest people in the world. Doesn’t sound bad to live here, does it? By the way, they call themselves Ticos.

Pura Vida

The motto of the Ticos is Pura Vida. That means “pure life”. If you are asked how to do it, you answer “Pura Vida”, so – very good! But it also means the simplicity of the good life, joy of life, happiness and optimism.

How do the children live?

For breakfast, Jimena, Sofía, Santiago and Gabriel prefer to eat gallo pinto, rice with beans. Beans and rice are often prepared differently for lunch and dinner! After breakfast it’s quick to go to school, it starts at 7 a.m. Classes often last until the afternoon. After that, there is time to play or meet up with friends. Football is very popular in Costa Rica! At half past four it gets dark without long twilight.

Many families have a piñata for a children’s birthday party. This is a colorful paper mache figure that is hung up. It’s filled with candy. Blindfolded, the birthday child and his guests take turns hitting the piñata with a stick until it rains candy.

Apartment and clothes

People live in stone houses that are smaller or larger depending on their wealth. In their clothing they hardly differ from ours: Jeans and T-shirts can be seen everywhere.

Celebrate parties!

People love to party in Costa Rica. Some festivals have their origins in indigenous cultures, such as the “game of the little devils” of the Boruca Indians. Some Boruca dress up as devils by putting on masks, one person plays the bull – a symbol for the Spanish conquistadors. Disguises with masks are also part of the mascarada that takes place across the country. The celebration of Carnival is also very popular in Costa Rica. In Limón it always takes place in October.

Costa Rica Culture