Friday 29 September 2023

Costa Rica is more developed than most so-called developed nations

Expat FocusCosta Rica is more developed than most so-called developed nations

Let’s look at why this statement is true. In most cases a developed country is synonymous with its military and economic power. The latter seems to be the criteria used for drawing the line between developed nations and those which are in the process of developing, or as they are most often referred to —third world nations like Costa Rica.

Ironically, the countries with the most cases of cover-19 and deaths are those that are supposedly the most developed and have the most powerful armed forces in the world: United States, English, France, Russia, Italy, and Germany. China, where the pandemic started, is also in the top 10 for its number of cases and deaths.

One would think that these countries would have handled this healthcare crisis more efficiently, but neither their military might or economic power has been enough to really stop the virus.

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Costa Rica is still considered to be a developing nation. However, in reality, the country’s healthcare system, the level of education of its people, access to potable water and electricity combine to exclude the country from the category of being a third world nation. In some cases Costa Rica has equaled or surpassed many of the so-called developed nations in certain areas.

Costa Rica is number 107 on the list of people infected by coronavirus and with more people having recovered than those who are actually sick. Fortunately, there have only been ten fatalities and most were those with serious pre-existing conditions. The country has put the value of human life above military and economic power.

Its handling of the crisis has also been done without the collapse of the health care systems as in many countries. Furthermore, the country’s resounding success in the face of an invisible adversary has come to the attention of nations and people around the world. Its response to the pandemic has demonstrated that the country’s health care system to be one of the best on the planet.

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Indeed in the times of a pandemic the definition of what a developed country has certainly changed.

The bottom line:

Anyone who is thinking of moving or retiring here should keep this in mind. While other so-called retirement havens as Panama, Nicaragua and Ecuador may be more affordable than Costa Rica, the quality of healthcare, its response to the pandemic and the level of education are really what set Costa Rica apart and make it the logical place to relocate.
After all, What is more important, saving a little money or one’s own life?


Christopher Howard has been conducting monthly relocation/retirement tours and writing retirement guidebooks for more than 30 years. See He has a relocation/retirement blog at and is also the author of the one-of-a-kind bestselling e-book, “Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” that can be purchased through Amazon.

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Christopher Howard
Christopher Howard has lived, worked and played in one of the most magical places on earth for more than 33 years. His love for Central America is so great that he became a citizen of Costa Rica. Howard is the author the perennial best-selling travel/retirement/overseas investment guide book (15 editions), The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. He is the only author of any of the guidebooks about Costa Rica who actually lives there full-time. You can reach Howard at

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