Costa Rica, a country of Central America, covers an area of 19,730 square miles. The capital is San José. Extending from northwest to southeast, Costa Rica is bounded on the north by Nicaragua, along its 185-mile northeastern coastline by the Caribbean Sea, on the southeast by Panama, and along its 630-mile southwestern coastline by the Pacific Ocean.
Costa Rica has a narrow Pacific coastal region that rises abruptly into central highlands. The highlands, forming the rugged backbone of the country, descend much more gradually toward the generally wider Caribbean (Atlantic) Plain. The Pacific coast is generally lowland in character, and, like the Caribbean coast, it is lined with white sandy beaches. The country has made use of its beautiful beaches by making them a huge tourist attraction. People from all over the world visit Costa Rica for that reason. About one-fifth of the country lies less than 400 feet above sea level. There is a continuous volcanic mountain chain (called the Cordillera Volcánica) stretching from the Nicaraguan border in the northwest to form the Meseta Central heartland of the country.
Costa Rica played a role in the federation of Central American states from 1823 to 1838 and is a member of the Organization of Central American States. Of the states that have been partners in these two enterprises, Costa Rica is the most Spanish in character and is generally regarded as having the most stable government and economy.
In 1998, Costa Rica's population was about 3,533,000. By the year 2000, the population reached 3,673,000. There is a population of about 4,333,000 people estimated for the year 2010. The annual growth rate for Costa Rica is 2.4%. Currently it takes about 36 years for the population to double. If this trend continues, by the year 2036 there will be approximately 7,346,000 people living in Costa Rica. That means that there will be a population density of about 350 persons per square mile. ...
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