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Costa Rica

Social conditions

Costa Rica has long been considered the exception in Central America's long tradition of political instability and extreme poverty. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of CRI and acronym for Costa Rica. The few Native American population that existed in the country at the arrival of the Spaniards and the relative isolation during the colonial period prevented the emergence of a domestic oligarchy, ie. oligarchy.

Society of Costa Rica

An agricultural community, dominated by family farming, came - in contrast to what was the case in the rest of Central America - to develop in Costa Rica. Thanks to the relatively evenly distributed land ownership, the strong upswing that coffee created in the mid-1800s was able to spread to large sections of the population. The great immigration of Europeans during the 19th and early 1900s reinforced the country's relatively European character and contributed to the development of an advanced political culture that differs from that of the rest of Central America.

Although the country's history has not been conflict-free, Costa Rica has avoided the inflamed class contradictions that have been characteristic of neighboring countries. A comprehensive modernization process began in the 1940s. The class structure was modernized, and social mobility steadily increased during the post-World War II period. The new social structure was characterized by a rapidly growing middle class until the late 1970s. In particular, it was an urban and highly educated middle class group that became the driving force for modernization; it played an important ideological and political role in the realization of the Costa Rican welfare society.

About 28 per cent of the state's total expenditure goes to health care (2012). The results of the social policy that has been carried on throughout the post-war period are reflected in the relatively high standard of living of the population and in an insurance system that covers the majority of the population. Major advances have been made in health care. There are 11 doctors per 10,000 residents (2013). Parasites as well as gastric and infectious diseases are becoming less common.

Unemployment is about 7 percent for the country on average; about 20 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line. The standard of living is considerably higher in the cities, but the slums of the cities are a significant exception.

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