Costa Rica

Republica de Costa Rica
  • S. H. Steinberg
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The republic of Costa Rica (literally the ‘Rich Coast’) has been an independent state since the year 1821, although it formed, from 1824 to 1829, part of the Confederation of Central America. It has been governed under a constitution promulgated on 7 Dec., 1871, and modified very frequently since that date. The legislative power is normally vested in a single chamber called the Constitutional Congress, which since 1946 consisted of 45 deputies, one for every 15,000 inhabitants. The members of the chamber were elected for 4 years, one-half retiring every 2 years. The President was elected for 4 years; the candidate receiving the largest vote, provided it is over 40% of the total, is declared elected, but a second ballot is required if no candidate gets 40% of the total. By the election law of 18 January, 1946, all male citizens who are 20 years of age are entitled to vote; married men and teachers, from the age of 18. Barred are those deprived of civil rights, criminals, bankrupts and the insane; proposal to enfranchize women was rejected by Congress in November, 1945. Elections are held on the second Sunday in February. Voting for President, Deputies and Municipal Councillors is, by the law of 26 July, 1925, secret, and, by an amendment to the constitution in 1936, compulsory for all men under 70 years of age. Independent non-party candidates are barred from the ballot.


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Books of Reference concerning Costa Rica

  1. Statistical information is issued by the Dirección General de Estadistica.Google Scholar
  2. Biesanz (John and Maris), Costa Rican Life. New York, 1944.Google Scholar
  3. Guardia (L. F.), Historia de Costa Rica. San José, 1939.Google Scholar
  4. Jones (Chester L.), Costa Rica and Civilization in the Caribbean. Madison, 1935.Google Scholar
  5. Saavedra (M.) (editor), Costa Rica Commercial Guide. San José. Annual.Google Scholar
  6. Vogt (W.), The Population of Costa Rica and its Natural Resources, Washington, D.C., 1946.Google Scholar
  7. Zeledón (M. T.), Lecciones de Ciencia constitucional y Oonstitución Política de la República de Costa Rica. San José, 1945.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1949

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Steinberg

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