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Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country’s democratic development. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
15-64 years: 69.1% (male 1,588,940/female 1,571,573)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 135,017/female 156,492) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Costa Rica
local long form: Republica de Costa Rica
local short form: Costa Rica
geographic coordinates: 9 56 N, 84 05 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 14 (2012)
females age 16-49: 1,230,202 (2010 est.)
Immigration from Nicaragua has increasingly become a concern for the government. The estimated 300,000-500,000 Nicaraguans estimated to be in Costa Rica legally and illegally are an important source of (mostly unskilled) labour, but also place heavy demands on the social welfare system. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country’s political stability and high education levels, as well as the fiscal incentives offered in the free-trade zones.
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