Costa Rica is a small country, it has less than 5 million people and it is only 19,730 mi2. Despite its size and the small number of inhabitants, Costa Rica is considered medium to high-developed country; in fact, it is among the 40% of countries with the highest development rate. The development observatory of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) came to this conclusion after evaluating 14 global indexes and 394 indicators in which Costa Rica is present.
Among the considered indexes and indicators are those related to happiness, global well-being, and democracy. These helped boost the performance of the country in the international scene.
However, not all the indicators show positive results. Those related to the economic situation and ease of doing business. When it comes to these two indexes Costa Rica needs to pay high priority attention to them. Among the factors that need to be observed are those related to the tax situation and government expense. Once these are solved, the country will be able to move up to a higher development level.
When it comes to the development of social aspects, 65 indicators were analyzed and 3% of them are considered top priority. One of this, to which the country has to pay closer attention to, is the participation of women in the labor market. In Costa Rica, for every 10 men who work, only 6 women do it (60%). However, in countries with higher development indexes this relationship is 9 female workers for every 10 male workers.
Costa Rica is promoted as a green destination, national parks, natural reserves and eco-tourism are among the country´s main attractions. One would expect the country to have high levels of development in environmental matters. However, Costa Rica lost important spots in these areas, mainly due to poor management of sewage waters and a necessity to better protect its oceans.
Although there are some areas in which the country needs to improve, it is important to note that none of the indicators placed the country in the lower levels of development like medium-low, low or very low.
The following table shows some of the social indicators and the level of priority which the government needs to pay to them:
|High school enrollment||Rural access to drinkable water sources||Death due to contagious diseases|
|Murder rate||Private property rights||Infant mortality rate|
|Internet users||Freedom of movement||Access to electrical energy|
|Obesity rate||Suicide rate||Freedom of press index|
|Water extraction||World class universities||Quality of electrical services|
|Prenatal mortality rate||Female schooling age average||Life expectancy at birth|
|Early marriage||Education accomplishment inequity||Religious freedom|
The following tables shows some of the environmental index and the level of attention that needs to be paid to them.
|Sewage water treatment||Air pollution||Environmental risk exposition|
|Protected sea areas||Quality of drinkable water||Home air quality|
|Nitrogen use efficiency||Protected land areas||Access to sanitation|
|Nitrogen balance||Reduction of protected woods||Access to drinkable water|
|Fish stocks||Trends in carbon intensity|