- The Country
Costa Rica [ˈkosta ˈrika]; officially República de Costa Rica, is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, with a tropical climate year round, a population of around 4.9 million, a healthcare system ranked higher than that of the United States, and no army.
Recently, it got ranked among the three happiest countries in the world. Quoting National Geographic’s November 2017 issue: ”…many Costa Ricans enjoys the pleasure of living daily life to the fullest in a place that mitigates stress and maximizes joy. Scientists call his type of happiness experienced happiness or positive affect. Surveys measure it by asking people how often they smiled, laughed, or felt joy during the past 24 hours. His country is not only Latin America’s happiest; it’s also where people report feeling more day-to-day positive emotions than just about any other place in the world.”
Costa Rica is known for its stable democracy and for its highly educated workforce. It also boasts one of the world’s most progressive environmental policies, twice ranked the best performing country in the NEF Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability. In 2009, it was also identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world.
Two years ago, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources particularly hydro, solar, geothermal and biomass. A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws many tourists to its extensive series of national parks and other protected areas.
The Ethical Traveler group’s ten countries on their 2017 list of The World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations includes Costa Rica. The country scored highest in environmental protection among the winners.
While Costa Rica has only about 0.03% of the world’s landmass, it contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected national parks and protected areas, the largest percentage of protected areas in the world.