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Poverty has remained at a rate of roughly 20% for almost 20 years. The previously strong social safety net was put in place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures and massive immigration from Nicaragua with an estimated immigrant population at around 500,000. Although the Nicaraguans are an important source of unskilled labor, this influx in population has put heavy demands on the social welfare system, efforts to reduce the un-employment rate and has caused some problems with replacing Ticos in the workforce.

Eventhough surely not directly related, but with poverty often comes crime, which in Costa Rica translates into petty theft and break ins. Poverty puts a strain on the government and that itself presents a risk for operating a business.  Compared to other countries in the region Costa Rica has the best track record as the majority of its population has access to drinking water, education and healthcare.

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