- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Costa Rica’s economy this century has, in many ways, been a model for developing nations. Highly efficient coffee and banana industries have drawn in vast export earnings, and manufacturing has grown modestly under the protection of external tariffs and the expanding purchasing power of the domestic market. Since the late 1970s, Costa Rica has moved progressively toward a more diversified trading economy (coffee, bananas, sugar, and beef, which together represented almost 80 percent of exports in 1980, earn less than 40 percent today). Tourism is the number one income earner, followed by technology, then agriculture.
Costa Rica has been hit hard by the world economic crisis: In 2009, GDP fell 1.9 percent, and the country faces a huge trade deficit and high inflation (14 percent in 2009). However, the colón has stabilized in value, and the service and high-tech industries, such as telecommunications and electronics, continue to grow. The number of people below the poverty line has fallen from 20.6 percent of the population in 2000 to 17.7 percent in 2009 (with 7 percent in “extreme poverty”).
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition