Costa Rica is governed by a democratic government, with presidential elections taking place every four years. It is also one of the few countries in the world which doesn’t have a standing army. The Costa Rican army was abolished on 1st December 1948 and then that abolishment was made constant via the Political Constitution of 1949.
Education in Costa Rica is divided into three sectors: preschool, primary and secondary. Students finish their secondary education at the age of 18. Education in Costa Rica has been free since 1869, when free education became part of the political constitution of the time. It is ranked 20th in the world by the “Global competitiveness Report 2013-14”, which describes it as being an education of “high quality”. Costa Rica’s literacy rate is 94.9 percent, which is two points above the average of other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. As Costa Rica no longer has an army, the money which used to be invested in military training and arms is now invested in education.
Health is a real priority in Costa Rica. The World Health Organisation ranked Costa Rica higher than the United States in terms of health. Its life expectancy ranks within the top five countries of the Americas and many people travel to Costa Rica in search of high quality medical care, including dental surgery, plastic surgery and joint replacements.