San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Other Countries Surpass Costa Rica in Human Development

While a recent United Nations report shows that Costa Rica has advanced on the Human Development Index, it also shows the country is being outpaced by others.

According to the 2010 Human Development Report, Costa Rica upped its index score from 0.708 in 2009 to 0.725 this year; however, the country dropped in world rankings from 54th to 62nd, surpassed by Panama, Belarus and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica falls behind Barbados (42), Bahamas (43), Chile (45), Argentina (46), Uruguay (52), Panama (54), Mexico (56) and Trinidad and Tobago (59) in terms of human development, proving the country has a little way to go before it fulfills President Laura Chinchilla’s goal of becoming the “first developed country in Latin America.”

Costa Rica continues to outrank Peru (63), Brazil (73) and Venezuela (75).

“The greatest challenge for Costa Rica continues to be in the strengthening of its education system and the prevention of dropouts,” said Luiza Carvalho, U.N. representative to Costa Rica. The report shows that Costa Ricans average 8.3 years in school, placing it 80th in the worldwide ranking. Norway ranks first with an average of 12.6 years of schooling.

Costa Rica continues to perform well in life expectancy, gross domestic product and gender equality.  

The full report can be accessed here.

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