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.
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. Check to see Costa Rica population.
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 percent 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.
Devoid of a standing army, equipped with solid democratic traditions, a high level of education and a relatively large social security system, the Costa Rica has been an exception in the troubled Central American scene until the end of the eighties of the 20Century. Unlike Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, the country has not in fact experienced the drama of the civil war, even if the widespread instability on its borders has inevitably had internal consequences (among others, the presence of numerous political refugees, in particular Nicaraguans, who have created significant security problems). Since the early nineties, the social climate of the Costa Rica, traditionally marked by great harmony, has experienced a rapid deterioration: both center-left and conservative administrations have tried to respond to the constant deterioration of economic conditions by following the indications of international institutions of credit,
In office since May 1990, the administration headed by RA Calderón Fournier of the conservative Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) strengthened economic ties with the United States and Mexico, initiated a contested privatization program and tightened the austerity measures introduced by the government. previous, managing to reduce the inflation rate (above 25 % at the end of the 1980s, around 9 % in 1993) without interrupting GDP growth. However, these results were achieved at the expense of a serious worsening of the social situation, with a significant reduction in expenditure on public health and education. The resolute opposition of the Social Democrat Partido de Liberación Nacional (PLN) to the privatization and the planned restructuring of the public sector (with a cut of 25. 000 employees) was rewarded by the electorate in the elections held in February 1994, which led to the presidency JM Figueres Olsen (son of J. Figueres Ferrer, former president and de facto architect of the modern Costa Rica).
Refuting the positions taken during the election campaign, the PLN administration agreed on a new structural adjustment program with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, accelerated the privatization program from 1995 and proposed a revision of the pension system. severely contested, with strikes and protests, by the trade unions. These protests during 1996 forced the president to make a series of reshuffles in the government and to partially revise his economic policy programs.
The general elections of February 1998, characterized by an increase in abstention and by the substantial identity of the programs of the two traditional parties, registered the victory of the conservatives of the PUSC, whose candidate, MA Rodríguez Echeverría, was elected to the presidency of the Republic, assuming the office in May 1998. In international relations, a free trade agreement between Mexico and Costa Rica entered into force (January 1995); in September 1997 the latter, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic signed the ‘Managua Declaration’, aimed at the creation of common political institutions.