Open translate

Costa Rica Government - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica

conventional short form: Costa Rica

local long form: República de Costa Rica

local short form: Costa Rica

etymology: the name means "rich coast" in Spanish and was first applied in the early colonial period of the 16th century

Government type

presidential republic


name: San José

geographic coordinates: 9 56 N, 84 05 W

time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: named in honor of Saint Joseph

Administrative divisions

7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose


15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 15 September (1821)


history: many previous; latest effective 8 November 1949

amendments: proposals require the signatures of at least 10 Legislative Assembly members or petition of at least 5% of qualified voters; consideration of proposals requires two-thirds majority approval in each of three readings by the Assembly, followed by preparation of the proposal as a legislative bill and its approval by simple majority of the Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership; a referendum is required only if approved by at least two thirds of the Assembly; amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system

civil law system based on Spanish civil code; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years


18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Rodrigo CHAVES Robles (since 8 May 2022); First Vice President Stephan BRUNNER Neibig (since 8 May 2022); Second Vice President Mary Denisse MUNIVE Angermuller (since 8 May 2022); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Rodrigo CHAVES Robles (since 8 May 2022); First Vice President Stephan BRUNNER Neibig (since 8 May 2022); Second Vice President Mary Denisse MUNIVE Angermuller (since 8 May 2022)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice presidents directly elected on the same ballot by modified majority popular vote (40% threshold) for a 4-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); election last held on 6 February 2022 with a runoff on 3 April 2022 (next to be held in February 2026 with a runoff in April 2026)

election results:
2022: Rodrigo CHAVES Robles elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Jose Maria FIGUERES Olsen (PLN) 27.3%,Rodrigo CHAVES Robles (PPSD) 16.8%, Fabricio ALVARADO Munoz (PNR) 14.9%, Eliecer FEINZAIG Mintz (PLP) 12.4%, Lineth SABORIO Chaverri (PUSC) 12.4%, Jose Maria VILLALTA Florez-Estrada 8.7% (PFA), other 7.5%; percent of vote in second round - Rodrigo CHAVES Robles (PPSD) 52.8%, Jose Maria FIGUERES Olsen (PLN) 47.2%

2018: Carlos ALVARADO Quesada elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Fabricio ALVARADO Munoz (PRN) 25%; Carlos ALVARADO Quesada (PAC) 21.6%; Antonio ALVAREZ (PLN) 18.6%; Rodolfo PIZA (PUSC) 16%; Juan Diego CASTRO (PIN) 9.5%; Rodolfo HERNANDEZ (PRSC) 4.9%, other 4.4%; percent of vote in second round - Carlos ALVARADO Quesada (PAC) 60.7%; Fabricio ALVARADO Munoz (PRN) 39.3%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (57 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 7 provinces - by closed party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 6 February 2022 (next to be held in February 2026)

election results: percent of vote by party - PLN 24.8%, PPSD 15%, PUSC 11.4%, PNR 10.1%, PLP 9.1%, 8.3%, other 21.3%; seats by party - PLN 19, PPSD 10, PUSC 9, PNR 7, PLP 6, PFA 6; composition - men 30, women 27, percent of women 47.4%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 22 judges organized into 3 cassation chambers each with 5 judges and the Constitutional Chamber with 7 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges elected by the National Assembly for 8-year terms with renewal decided by the National Assembly

subordinate courts: appellate courts; trial courts; first instance and justice of the peace courts; Superior Electoral Tribunal

Political parties and leaders

Accessibility Without Exclusion or PASE [Oscar Andres LOPEZ Arias]
Broad Front (Frente Amplio) or PFA [Ana Patricia MORA Castellanos]
Citizen Action Party or PAC [Fabian SOLANO Fernandez]
Costa Rican Renewal Party or PRC [Justo OROZCO Alvarez]
Here Costa Rica Commands Party or ACRM [Federico CRUZ Saravanja]
Liberal Progressive Party or PLP [Eliecer FEINZAIG Mintz]
Libertarian Movement Party or ML [Victor Danilo CUBERO Corrales]
National Integration Party or PIN [Walter MUNOZ Cespedes]
National Liberation Party or PLN [Ricardo SANCHO Chavarría]
National Restoration Party or PRN [Carlos Luis AVENDANO Calvo]
New Generation or PNG [Rodolfo SOLIS Herrera]
New Republic Party or PNR [Fabricio ALVARADO Muñoz]
Social Christian Republican Party or PRSC [Otto ROBERTO Vargas]
Social Christian Unity Party or PUSC of UNIDAD [Juan Carlos HIDALGO Bogantes]
Social Democratic Progress Party or PPSD [Luz Mary ALPIZAR Loaiza]

International organization participation

BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Catalina CRESPO SANCHO (since 19 April 2023)

chancery: 2114 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 499-2980

FAX: [1] (202) 265-4795

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington DC

honorary consulate(s): San Juan (Puerto Rico), Saint Paul (MN), Tucson (AZ)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Cynthia A. TELLES (since 11 March 2022)

embassy: Calle 98 Via 104, Pavas, San Jose

mailing address: 3180 St. George's Place, Washington DC  20521-3180

telephone: [506] 2519-2000

FAX: [506] 2519-2305

email address and website:

Flag description

five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms in a white elliptical disk placed toward the hoist side of the red band; Costa Rica retained the earlier blue-white-blue flag of Central America until 1848 when, in response to revolutionary activity in Europe, it was decided to incorporate the French colors into the national flag and a central red stripe was added; today the blue color is said to stand for the sky, opportunity, and perseverance, white denotes peace, happiness, and wisdom, while red represents the blood shed for freedom, as well as the generosity and vibrancy of the people

note: somewhat resembles the flag of North Korea; similar to the flag of Thailand but with the blue and red colors reversed

National symbol(s)

yiguirro (clay-colored robin); national colors: blue, white, red

National anthem

name: "Himno Nacional de Costa Rica" (National Anthem of Costa Rica)

lyrics/music: Jose Maria ZELEDON Brenes/Manuel Maria GUTIERREZ

note: adopted 1949; the anthem's music was originally written for an 1853 welcome ceremony for diplomatic missions from the US and UK; the lyrics were added in 1903

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 4 (1 cultural, 3 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Guanacaste Conservation Area (n); Cocos Island National Park (n); Precolumbian Stone Spheres (c); La Amistad International Park (n)

NOTE: The information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Costa Rica 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.