Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in Costa Rica instead of United States, you would:

Health

be 29.0% less likely to be obese


In United States, 36.2% of adults are obese. In Costa Rica, that number is 25.7% of people.

live 1.3 years less


In United States, the average life expectancy is 80 years (78 years for men, 82 years for women). In Costa Rica, that number is 79 years (76 years for men, 82 years for women).

Economy

spend 62.1% less on taxes


United States has a top tax rate of 39.6%. In Costa Rica, the top tax rate is 15.0%.

make 71.6% less money


United States has a GDP per capita of $59,500, while in Costa Rica, the GDP per capita is $16,900.

be 84.1% more likely to be unemployed


In United States, 4.4% of adults are unemployed. In Costa Rica, that number is 8.1%.

be 43.7% more likely to be live below the poverty line


In United States, 15.1% live below the poverty line. In Costa Rica, however, that number is 21.7%.

Life

have 24.0% more children


In United States, there are approximately 12.5 babies per 1,000 people. In Costa Rica, there are 15.5 babies per 1,000 people.

be 78.6% more likely to die during childbirth


In United States, approximately 14.0 women per 1,000 births die during labor. In Costa Rica, 25.0 women do.

be 37.9% more likely to die during infancy


In United States, approximately 5.8 children die before they reach the age of one. In Costa Rica, on the other hand, 8.0 children do.

Basic Needs

be 13.4% less likely to have internet access


In United States, approximately 76.2% of the population has internet access. In Costa Rica, about 66.0% do.

Expenditures

spend 45.6% less on healthcare


United States spends 17.1% of its total GDP on healthcare. In Costa Rica, that number is 9.3% of GDP.

spend 42.0% more on education


United States spends 5.0% of its total GDP on education. Costa Rica spends 7.1% of total GDP on education.

Geography

see 93.5% less coastline


United States has a total of 19,924 km of coastline. In Costa Rica, that number is 1,290 km.

Costa Rica: At a glance

Costa Rica is a sovereign country in Central America/Caribbean, with a total land area of approximately 51,060 sq km. Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. In 1949, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.

How big is Costa Rica compared to United States? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, Internal Revenue Service, Directorate General of Taxation of Costa Rica.

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