Costa Rican Society
Costa Ricans are very proud of their over 100-year old democracy and peaceful history. Through its constitution, the country abolished its army in 1948 and invested the resources previously committed to military defense into education and health. With education being free and compulsory for all children and youth, the nation’s 93 percent literacy rate is the highest in Latin America. The Costa Rican health care system, modeled after the Canadian system, includes both public and private care providers. The average life expectancy, at 77 years, is comparable with that in the United States.
Such advanced educational and health care standards have made Costa Rica the leading economy in Central America, not only in tourism but also in manufacturing and real estate investments. Economic growth in recent years has led to job creation and social stability, which in turn led to the formation of a large middle class and the elimination of extreme poverty.
Recent polls conducted among 143 countries ranked Costa Rica as the happiest country on earth when comparing life expectancy, life satisfaction and ecological efficiency. Costa Ricans not only reported the highest satisfaction with the quality of life but also scored the second highest average life expectancy in the world.