A recent study compared Costa Rica to other Latin American countries that became independent around the same time. In addition to Costa Rica, the countries that achieved their independence were Mexico 1810, Colombia 1816, Chile 1818 and Uruguay in 1825. Costa Rica became independent in 1821.
In terms of overall quality of life Chile came out first in 5 of the ten categories with Costa Rica and Uruguay battling for second place.
Costa Rica was first in freedom of the press, fourth in literacy at 97.4 percent, second in life expectancy at 79.4, second with the lowest infant mortality, fourth in development and second in democracy. Regarding the latter, at 68 years old Costa Rica longest uninterrupted democracy in Latin America. Chile and Uruguay had barbarous military dictatorships in the 1970s where thousands of innocent people died.
Furthermore, Costa Rica has not had a military for over 50 years. When you take into consideration the excellent year-round weather, unparalleled lifestyle, friendly people, choices of places to live, healthy fruits vegetables, being a nature lover’s paradise and hundreds of year-round outdoor activities, it is hard to top this country. Additionally, Chile and Uruguay have cold winters which Costa Rica does not. I spent a couple months during the winter in both countries and believe me it gets cold!
Another feather I Costa Rica’s cap is that you can get to the U.S. in a little over 2 hours in case of an emergency or for some other reason. To get from Chile or Uruguay to the States you are talking about at least 8 hours and that is without having to change planes. In most instances once you arrive in the States you’ll have to change planes again to get to your final destination. This is tantamount to a full day’s travel.
The bottom line is that Costa Rica is more conveniently located than either Chile or Uruguay and as a whole brings more to the table that the factors that were used in the survey.