Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military


Costa Rica - Military Spending

In 1980, in a total government budget of 10.4 billion colons, With 265 million colons, or 2.6 percent, devoted to the security forces, according to statistics made available by the International Monetarv Fund. By contrast, Costa Rica devoted 92.5 billion colons of the total budget to education. Spending on the security fiorces in the 1970s generally had remained at about 3 percent of the total government budget, while about 10 times as much was devoted to public education.

A World Bank analysis using data from the European NGO SIPRI stated that in 2013, Latin American countries with military forces spent between 0.5% and 3.4% of their Gross Domestic Product on military forces. Colombia, in the midst of its armed conflict, remained the country in the region dedicated to the military the largest share of their national wealth, 3.4% in 2013. Central American countries, however, may be a better benchmark for what happens with Costa Rica. Guatemala spent only 0.5% of GDP on the military line. As for the other three countries with military forces in Central America, Nicaragua devoted 0.8% of GDP, El Salvador and Honduras 1.1% and 1.2%. If this proportion of GDP as a measure of benefit is adopted, as Costa Rica does not have military forces, the savings would reach around US $ 450 million annually.

In Latin America the barriers between police and military forces are not as clear as in other countries. And police forces in Costa Rica have some quasi-military, some of the largest armies in the region are mainly oriented elements not to repel an external threat but internal security tasks. In Costa Rica the amount of spending on security, including police is about US $ 900 million, approaching 2% of GDP, according to Argentina-based NGO, Security and Defense Network of Latin America (RESDAL - Red de Seguridad y Defensa de Amrica Latina). Another study, by the London International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS ] placed the defense spending of Costa Rica at US $ 600 million.

Costa Rica has long depended on outsiders to provide what arms and other equipment its security forces have needed. After more than a decade when it had acquired few new weapons beyond some arms received at the time that Costa Rica had been involved in funneling weapons to the Sandinistas in 1978-79, the government sought foreign sources to strengthen the security forces in the early 1980s. Because of the inability of the struggling economy to pay for an arms buildup, the government sought, and for the most part received, military assistance on concessional terms from its foreign partners.

The United States has been the source of most of the weapons and equipment in the Costa Rican inventory. Much of this materiel - small arms and light weapons - had been delivered in the years before a 1974 ruling went into effect in the United States prohibiting assistance to foreign police forces. Significant United States military aid was given during World War II under the lend-lease program. Between 1952 and 1968 the United States transferred US$930,000 worth of arms and equipment to Costa Rica under the Military Assistance Program (MAP); the terms did not require reimbursement in dollars. During the 1960s nonlethal equipment and training were also provided by the Office of Public Safety in the United States Agency for International Development, which specialized in training foreign police forces. The United States military was also heavily involved in training Costa Rican security personnel. Between 1952 and 1968 a total of 711 Costa Ricans were sent to the United States for training under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program. The United States Army School of the Americas at Fort Gulick, Panama, trained Costa Ricans between 1946 and 1968.

Military assistance from the United States during this period was administered by a United States Army mission accredited to Costa Rica. In 1968 the United States ceased providing military training and equipment to Costa Rica's police forces. A United States congressional ruling in 1978, however, defined the Civil Guard as having primarily military responsibilities and permitted selective programs to be instituted to improve the security forces. That year the United States Department of Defense was able to guarantee a US$5 million loan to Costa Rica for the purchase of five light patrol boats.

North American assistance began to increase in the United States fiscal year 1981, when 37 students were trained under the IMET program, 20 of them at Fort Gulick. In FY 1982 the United States provided US$2 million in military assistance under MAP and trained 55 Costa Rican guardsmen. The US$3 million in MAP aid given in FY 1983 included US$750,000 for field equipment, such as tents and boots; US$850,000 for improving the country's police communications system; and US$280,000 for repairing one of the damaged Civil Guard helicopters. Other funds were devoted to supplying outboard patrol boats, 52 four-wheel-drive trucks and .30-caliber ammunition. Some 70 guards were also slated to be trained at Fort Gulick in 1983. In August of that year, a nine-man United States training team arrived in the country to teach a group of Civil Guardsmen who had been selected to be instructors. Other United States training teams were scheduled to go to Costa Rica to train other Civil Guard personnel in equipment maintenance and repair.

Other countries also provided Costa Rica with security assistance. Panama and Venezuela have been the most prominent, having supported Costa Rica in the late 1970s when Somoza was threatening reprisals fot its assistance to the Sandinista rebels. in 1982 and 1983 Venezuela provided the Costa Rican Civil Guardsmen with M-14 rifles and uniforms. Panamanian security aid was more extensive, and the Panamanian National Guard trained over 400 Civil Guardsmen from the Condor and Cobra battalions. On a visit to Costa Rica in 1983, Panamanian National Guard leader General Ruben Dario Paredes offered his country's "unconditional help" to "defend [Costa Rica] from any attack from a neighboring country." More controversially, he stated "with all due respect for the Costa Ricans, the Panamanians consider that the current situation has extended Panama's borders up to the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan borderline." The general later declared that his statement had not been meant to imply that Panamanian troops would be sent into Costa Rican territory.

Costa Rica also received security assistance from countries outside the hemisphere in the early 1980s. Israel sent a shipment of Gail rifles as well as a group of experts who instructed Costa Ricans in combating terrorism. The country also received 40 to 50 police patrol cars from the Republic of Korea, and the Taiwanese government sent riot gear and uniforms.

/ Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Mean  
 
Demographic parameters  
Armed forces personnel (AF) (in thousands) 8 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 9  
- Armed forces personnel as % of population 0.21% 0.21% 0.21% 0.21% 0.22% 0.22% 0.22% 0.22% 0.22% 0.21% 0.22% 0.21%  
- Armed forces personnel as % of labor force 0.47% 0.47% 0.48% 0.46% 0.46% 0.45% 0.46% 0.46% 0.45% 0.44% 0.43% 0.46%  
Population (midyear, in millions) 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.3  
Labor force (LF) (midyear, in millions) 1.8 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.3 2.0  
- Labor force as % of population 44.0% 44.4% 44.2% 46.2% 46.7% 47.9% 47.9% 48.1% 48.7% 49.1% 49.6% 47.1%  
 
Armed forces composition (in thousands)[1]  
- Army (land forces) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  
- Navy (may include marines) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  
- Air force (may include air defense) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  
- Other regular forces (incl. joint & support) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  
- Paramilitary and irregular forces 8 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 9.3  
 
Economic parameters in national currency  
Military expenditure (ME)  
- current national currency units (millions) 32,000 37,000 40,000 45,000 50,000 80,000 95,000 110,000 120,000 140,000 175,000  
- constant 2012 ncu (millions) 74,500 79,500 76,900 78,200 78,300 114,000 121,000 129,000 131,000 146,000 175,000 109,000  
ME/AF (constant 2012 ncu) 8,870,000 9,250,000 8,740,000 8,690,000 8,510,000 ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ########  
ME per capita (constant 2012 ncu) 18,500 19,500 18,500 18,600 18,300 26,400 27,500 29,000 28,900 31,800 37,700 25,000  
Gross domestic product (GDP)  
- current national currency units (millions) 6,060,000 6,980,000 8,140,000 9,540,000 ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ########  
- constant 2012 ncu (millions) ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ######## ########  
GDP per capita (constant 2012 ncu) 3,510,000 3,680,000 3,770,000 3,940,000 4,220,000 4,490,000 4,550,000 4,440,000 4,600,000 4,740,000 4,920,000 4,260,000  
(ME/AF) / (GDP/LF)[2] 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.8 1.3  
ME/GDP ("military burden")[3] 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.6% 0.6% 0.7% 0.6% 0.7% 0.8% 0.6%  
 
 
Economic parameters in US dollars  
 
Converted at real MER, base year = 2012  
Military expenditure (ME)  
- Current dollars (millions) 120 130 130 140 140 210 230 240 250 280 350  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 150 160 150 160 160 230 240 260 260 290 350 218  
ME/AF (constant 2012 dollars) 17,600 18,400 17,400 17,300 16,900 24,200 25,100 26,200 26,500 29,600 34,800 23,400  
ME per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 35 40 35 35 35 55 55 60 55 65 75 50  
Gross domestic product (GDP)  
- Current dollars (millions) 22,700 24,600 26,400 28,800 32,300 35,800 37,500 37,400 39,700 42,400 45,400  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 28,100 29,900 31,100 33,000 35,800 38,700 39,800 39,300 41,300 43,200 45,400 36,900  
GDP per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 6,980 7,310 7,510 7,830 8,400 8,930 9,050 8,830 9,140 9,430 9,790 8,510  
 
Converted at current-year-average MER  
Military expenditure (ME)  
- Current dollars (millions) 90 95 90 95 100 150 180 190 230 280 350  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 110 110 110 110 110 170 190 200 240 280 350 179  
ME/AF (constant 2012 dollars) 13,100 13,100 12,200 12,000 11,800 17,800 19,900 20,600 24,200 28,800 34,800 19,300  
ME per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 25 30 25 25 25 40 45 45 55 60 75 41  
Gross domestic product (GDP)  
- Current dollars (millions) 16,800 17,500 18,600 20,000 22,500 26,300 29,800 29,400 36,300 41,200 45,400  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 20,800 21,200 21,900 22,800 25,000 28,400 31,600 30,900 37,700 42,000 45,400 29,800  
GDP per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 5,180 5,200 5,290 5,420 5,850 6,570 7,200 6,940 8,350 9,170 9,790 6,880  
 
Converted at real MER, base is mean of 11  
real yr.-av. MERs, assigned to the 6th year  
Military expenditure (ME)  
- Current dollars (millions) 95 100 100 110 110 170 180 190 200 220 270  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 120 120 120 120 120 180 190 200 210 230 270 172  
ME/AF (constant 2012 dollars) 13,900 14,500 13,700 13,600 13,400 19,100 19,800 20,700 20,900 23,400 27,500 18,500  
ME per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 30 30 30 30 30 40 45 45 45 50 60 40  
Gross domestic product (GDP)  
- Current dollars (millions) 17,900 19,400 20,800 22,800 25,500 28,300 29,600 29,500 31,400 33,500 35,800  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 22,200 23,600 24,600 26,000 28,300 30,600 31,400 31,100 32,600 34,100 35,800 29,100  
GDP per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 5,510 5,770 5,930 6,180 6,630 7,060 7,150 6,970 7,220 7,450 7,730 6,720  
 
Converted at PPP-for-GDP rate  
Military expenditure (ME)  
- Current dollars (millions) 170 190 180 190 200 300 320 350 350 400 490  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 210 220 220 220 220 320 340 360 370 410 490 309  
ME/AF (constant 2012 dollars) 25,000 26,100 24,600 24,500 24,000 34,400 35,500 37,200 37,600 41,900 49,400 33,100  
ME per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 50 55 50 50 50 75 80 80 80 90 110 71  
Gross domestic product (GDP)  
- Current dollars (millions) 32,200 34,900 37,400 40,900 45,800 50,800 53,200 53,100 56,400 60,100 64,400  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 39,800 42,300 44,100 46,700 50,900 54,900 56,400 55,800 58,600 61,200 64,400 52,300  
GDP per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 9,900 10,400 10,600 11,100 11,900 12,700 12,800 12,500 13,000 13,400 13,900 12,100  
 
Converted at est. defense sector PPP rate  
Military expenditure (ME)  
- Current dollars (millions) 160 180 180 190 200 270 290 300 310 340 400  
- constant 2012 dollars (millions) 200 210 210 220 220 290 300 320 320 350 400 277  
ME/AF (constant 2012 dollars) 23,900 24,900 24,400 24,300 24,000 30,900 31,700 32,200 32,700 35,400 39,900 29,700  
ME per capita (constant 2012 dollars) 50 50 50 50 50 65 70 70 70 75 85 64  
(ME/AF) / (GDP @ PPP-for-GDP /LF) 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.2  
(ME @ sectoral PPP)/(GDP @ PPP-for-GDP) 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.5% 0.5% 0.6% 0.5% 0.6% 0.6% 0.5%  
("military burden")  
 
Political parameters  
Freedom House political rights score * 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 38.0  
WBI voice and accountability score ** 1.10 0.97 0.99 0.81 0.87 0.90 0.94 1.00 1.04 1.04 1.06 0.98  
* range 0 to 40; ** range -2.30 to +1.85  
     
 
As proportion of world total or world value:  
 
Demographic parameters  
Armed forces personnel (AF) as % of world 0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.04%  
- AF/population as multiple of world ratio 0.58 0.63 0.64 0.65 0.67 0.68 0.69 0.70 0.70 0.69 0.71 0.67  
- AF/labor force as multiple of world ratio 0.61 0.65 0.67 0.66 0.67 0.67 0.67 0.68 0.67 0.66 0.67 0.66  
Population (midyear) as % of world 0.06% 0.06% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07%  
Labor force (LF) (midyear) as % of world 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07% 0.07%  
- LF/population as multiple of world ratio 0.23 0.22 0.21 0.20 0.18 0.25 0.24 0.24 0.25 0.27 0.31 1.01  
 
Economic parameters in US dollars  
 
Converted at real MER, base year = 2012  
Military expenditure (ME) as % of world 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.02% 0.01%  
- ME/AF as multiple of world ratio 0.31 0.29 0.26 0.25 0.23 0.32 0.31 0.30 0.31 0.35 0.41 0.31  
- ME per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.18 0.18 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.22 0.21 0.21 0.22 0.24 0.29 0.21  
 
GDP as % of world 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06%  
- GDP per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.80 0.82 0.82 0.83 0.86 0.89 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.91 0.93 0.87  
(ME/AF)/(GDP/LF) as multiple of world ratio 0.37 0.34 0.31 0.30 0.27 0.37 0.35 0.35 0.36 0.41 0.47 0.36  
ME/GDP as multiple of world ratio 0.22 0.22 0.21 0.20 0.18 0.25 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.27 0.31 0.24  
 
Converted at current-year-average MER  
Military expenditure (ME) as % of world 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.02% 0.01%  
- ME/AF as multiple of world ratio 0.29 0.25 0.21 0.20 0.18 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.30 0.34 0.41 0.28  
- ME per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.17 0.16 0.14 0.13 0.12 0.17 0.17 0.18 0.21 0.23 0.29 0.19  
 
GDP as % of world 0.05% 0.05% 0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.05%  
- GDP per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.76 0.70 0.66 0.65 0.68 0.70 0.72 0.75 0.85 0.87 0.93 0.76  
(ME/AF)/(GDP/LF) as multiple of world ratio 0.37 0.34 0.31 0.30 0.27 0.37 0.35 0.35 0.37 0.41 0.47 0.37  
ME/GDP as multiple of world ratio 0.23 0.22 0.21 0.20 0.18 0.25 0.24 0.24 0.25 0.27 0.31 0.24  
 
Converted at real MER, base is mean of 11  
real yr.-av. MERs, assigned to the 6th year  
Military expenditure (ME) as % of world 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.01%  
- ME/AF as multiple of world ratio 0.27 0.25 0.22 0.21 0.20 0.28 0.26 0.26 0.27 0.30 0.36 0.27  
- ME per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.15 0.16 0.14 0.14 0.13 0.19 0.18 0.18 0.19 0.21 0.25 0.18  
 
GDP as % of world 0.04% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05%  
- GDP per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.68 0.71 0.70 0.72 0.75 0.77 0.78 0.78 0.79 0.80 0.82 0.76  
(ME/AF)/(GDP/LF) as multiple of world ratio 0.37 0.34 0.30 0.30 0.27 0.37 0.34 0.34 0.36 0.40 0.46 0.36  
ME/GDP as multiple of world ratio 0.23 0.22 0.20 0.20 0.18 0.25 0.23 0.23 0.24 0.26 0.31 0.24  
 
Converted at PPP-for-GDP rate  
Military expenditure (ME) as % of world 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02%  
- ME/AF as multiple of world ratio 0.35 0.33 0.30 0.29 0.26 0.36 0.34 0.33 0.34 0.38 0.43 0.35  
- ME per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.20 0.21 0.19 0.19 0.18 0.25 0.24 0.23 0.24 0.26 0.31 0.23  
 
GDP as % of world 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.07% 0.07% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.07% 0.06%  
- GDP per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.95 0.98 0.96 0.97 0.99 1.01 1.00 0.98 0.98 0.98 0.99 0.98  
(ME/AF)/(GDP/LF) as multiple of world ratio 0.35 0.33 0.30 0.29 0.27 0.37 0.35 0.35 0.36 0.41 0.46 0.36  
ME/GDP as multiple of world ratio 0.21 0.21 0.20 0.19 0.18 0.25 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.27 0.31 0.24  
 
Converted at est. defense sector PPP rate  
Military expenditure (ME) as % of world 0.01% 0.02% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02%  
- ME/AF as multiple of world ratio 0.40 0.38 0.35 0.34 0.32 0.39 0.37 0.36 0.37 0.40 0.45 0.38  
- ME per capita as multiple of world ratio 0.23 0.24 0.23 0.22 0.21 0.27 0.25 0.25 0.26 0.28 0.32 0.25  
 
(ME/AF)/(GDP/LF) as multiple of world ratio 0.40 0.37 0.35 0.35 0.32 0.40 0.38 0.37 0.39 0.43 0.47 0.39  
(ME @ sectoral PPP)/(GDP @ PPP-for-GDP) 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.23 0.21 0.27 0.25 0.26 0.26 0.28 0.32 0.26  
as multiple of world ratio  
 
                           
 
Currency conversion rates used  
(current ncu per current U.S. dollar)  
 
Real MER, base year = 2012 267.184 283.673 308.792 330.950 356.399 379.719 418.716 450.256 480.213 491.842 502.902  
 
Current-year-average MER 359.820 398.663 437.911 477.788 511.302 516.617 526.354 573.288 525.829 505.664 502.902  
 
Real MER, base is mean of 11 real year- 338.321 359.201 391.007 419.065 451.290 480.819 530.199 570.137 608.070 622.794 636.799  
average MERs, assigned to the 6th year  
 
PPP-for-GDP rate 188.359 199.983 217.692 233.313 251.254 267.694 295.186 317.421 338.541 346.738 354.535  
 
Defense sector PPP rate, notional estimate 197.195 209.725 219.962 235.388 251.254 297.978 331.202 366.106 388.667 410.615 438.692  
 
 
Currency notes:  
The national currency unit on this page is the Costa Rican colon.  
 
 
 
Country notes (if any):  
During the years covered by this report, this country's armed forces consisted wholly of paramilitary forces.  
 
 
 
 




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list