Costa Rica (i/ /, meaning "rich coast" in Spanish), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkosta ˈrika]), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country to have been a democracy since 1950 or earlier. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 62nd in the world in 2012.
The colón was the currency of El Salvador between 1892 and 2001, until it was substituted by the U.S. Dollar. It was subdivided into 100 centavos and its ISO 4217 code was SVC. The plural is colones in Spanish and was named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish.
The symbol for the colón is a c with two slashes. The symbol "₡" has Unicode code point U+20A1, and the decimal representation is 8353. In HTML it can be entered as ₡. The colón sign is not to be confused with the cent sign (¢), which has a code point U+00A2 in Unicode (or 162 in decimal), or with the cedi sign ₵, which has a code point U+20B5 in Unicode (or 8373 in decimal). Nonetheless, the commonly available cent symbol '¢' is frequently used locally to designate the colón in price markings and advertisements.
The economy of Costa Rica is very stable, and depends essentially on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports.
According to a study conducted by ADEN Business School (which included 18 other countries in the region), Costa Rica is the fourth most competitive country in Latin America in 2012 and is part of a bloc of countries rated as having a "very good competitive level, with advances and developments in infrastructure, technology and macroeconomic stability". The nation scored a 71,8 out of 100 on a study which measured competitiveness based on 10 criteria. Compared to the 2011 rank, Costa Rica went up by one position (form 5th to 4th).
The colón (named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) is the currency of Costa Rica. The plural is colones in Spanish, but English speakers often say colons instead. The ISO 4217 code is CRC.
The symbol for the colón is a minuscule letter "c" crossed by two diagonal strokes. The symbol is encoded at U+20A1 ₡ colón sign (HTML:
₡) and may be typed on many English language Microsoft Windows keyboards using the keystrokes ⎇ Alt+8353.