Compared to other countries in Central America, Costa Rica has lower poverty rates and, in fact, enjoys the region’s highest standard of living, with a nominal per capita income of about U.S. $7,843 (PPP or relative purchasing power of $11,215) and an unemployment rate of 7%.
Although poverty may not be as apparent in Costa Rica as it is in other countries, it definitely lingers in both inner-city San José and some rural areas. Despite Costa Rica's improved economy, however, poverty rates have held steady at about 20% (defined as those earning less than about $115 per month). You will likely see some, but not much, poverty while traveling in Costa Rica.
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