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Politics and Government

A great place to get familiar with the political structure, important figures, and government.


Official name:


Type of government:

Independent since:  



Republic of Costa Rica

San Jose

presidential representative democratic republi

15th of September  1821 from Spain

7th of November 1949

18 years of age, universal and compulsory

Five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue with the coat of arms in a white elliptical disk on the hoist side of the red band; above the coat of arms a light blue ribbon contains the words, AMERICA CENTRAL, and just below it near the top of the coat of arms is a white ribbon with the words, REPUBLICA COSTA RICA.

This section details everything related to the Costa Rican government including: the political structure, current president, major political parties, and special interest groups. To stay current, be sure to check out political news & updates, labor laws, and environmental laws.


Brief Political History

Modern politics in Costa Rica began just after a brief civil war in 1948. Don Pepe Figueres, the leader of the victorious coalition is by far one of the nation's most important political figures. He is responsible for abolishing the military , creating a new constitution, and also nationalizing the banking system which in turn, broke the stronghold of the powerful coffee oligarchy.

In 1949, the country adopted a progressive constitution that included a labor code, social security, and social assistance. From this period until the late 1970's the government grew at a steady pace. The government also made efforts to fulfill its social democratic contract with the people, which included: free public education, widespread health coverage, and a system of pensions.

Additionally, the government took an active role in modernizing the nation's economy, during an era when capital was scarcely available for development while simultaneously controlling various sectors of the economy, such as banking, petroleum, and utilities.

Due to the government´s firm commitment to broad social welfare; Costa Rica enjoys one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Moreover, the country has not encountered the high rates of political strife that has weighed down most of it's neighboring countries. The nation has an outstanding record for its respect for human rights. For all of these reasons and the fact that Costa Rica possesses a stable economy, Costa Rica has earned itself the title

Switzerland of Central America.”


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