Cantons of Costa Rica

Last updated
Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Costa Rica
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Costa Ricaportal
Map of Central America with Costa Rica highlighted LocationCostaRica.svg
Map of Central America with Costa Rica highlighted

Costa Rica is administratively divided into seven provinces which are subdivided into 82 cantons, and these are further subdivided into districts. Cantons are the only administrative division in Costa Rica that possess local government in the form of municipalities. Each municipality has its own mayor and several representatives, all of them chosen via municipal elections every four years.

Costa Rica Country in Central America

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Provinces of Costa Rica

According to Article 168 of the Constitution of Costa Rica, the political divisions are officially classified into 3 tiers of sub-national entities.

A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population when compared with other administrative divisions such as counties, departments, or provinces. Internationally, the best-known cantons - and the most politically important - are those of Switzerland. As the constituents of the Swiss Confederation, theoretically, the Swiss cantons are semi-sovereign states.

Contents

The original 14 cantons were established in 1848, and the number has risen gradually by the division of existing cantons. Law no. 4366 of 19 August 1969, which outlines the creation of administrative divisions of Costa Rica, states that new cantons may only be created if they have at least one percent of the republic's total population, which was 4,301,712 as of the last census (2011). [1] [2] The last new canton, Río Cuarto, was created on March 30, 2017. [3] [4]

Río Cuarto (canton) Cantón in Alajuela, Costa Rica

Río Cuarto is the 16th canton of the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica.

The largest canton by population is the capital San José with a population of 288,054. The smallest canton by population is Turrubares with 5,512 residents. [2] The largest canton by land area is San Carlos, which spans 3,347.98 km2 (1,292.66 sq mi), while the smallest is Flores at 6.96 km2 (2.69 sq mi). [5]

San José (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

San José is the first canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 44.62 km² and has a population of 288,054. It includes the national capital city of San José.

Turrubares (canton) canton in Costa Rica

Turrubares is the 16th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 415.29 square kilometres (160.34 sq mi), and has a population of 5,175, making it the least populated of the 81 cantons in Costa Rica. The capital city of the canton is San Pablo.

San Carlos (canton) Cantón in Alajuela, Costa Rica

San Carlos is the 10th canton in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 3,347.98 square kilometres (1,292.66 sq mi), making it the largest canton in the country. It has a population of 178,460. ranking it fifth.

Political structure

Each canton is controlled by a government unit called Municipalidad. [6] The term reflects the fact that the cantons in Costa Rica have approximately the same function as municipios ("municipalities") in many other Spanish-speaking countries. This administrative unit consists of two bodies: a municipal executive (Concejo Municipal) and an executive body which only consists of a mayor (alcalde / alcaldesa municipal), a title that was introduced in 1998. [6]

The mayor's main duties are to liaise with the municipal council, district councils and the entire administrative apparatus of the canton, and to approve and implement the decisions taken by the municipal council. [7] The number of members of the municipal council varies from one canton to another, and they are elected by local elections held every four years. [8] The head of the council is titled the municipal president (presidente municipal). The council's main task is to manage the canton at the local level, and is responsible for planning basic policies and establishing budgets. More specifically, the responsibilities include urban and agricultural planning and organizing cultural affairs, health care, education and industry. [9] Each municipal president appoints a number of working commissions that deal with issues specific to the municipality. [10]

Cantons

San José, Costa Rica City and municipality in San José, Costa Rica

San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the mid-west of the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. The population of San José Canton was 288,054 in 2011, and San José’s municipal land area measures 44.2 square kilometers, and an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. The metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and has an estimated population of over 2 million in 2017. The city is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.

Alajuela Canton in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

Alajuela is the second largest city in Costa Rica. It is also the capital of Alajuela Province.

Desamparados City in San José, Costa Rica

Desamparados is the capital city of Desamparados Canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. It is also the name of the distrito (district) that includes the city. The district of Desamparados covers an area of 3.03 km², and has a population of 31,654.

  Provincial CapitalDagger-14-plain.png

  National Capital and Provincial CapitalDouble-dagger-14-plain.png

Name Province Population
(2011) [2]
Population
(2000) [11]
Change [2] [11] Land area (km²) [5] Population densityIncorporation date [5]
San José Double-dagger-14-plain.png San José 288,054309,672−7.0%44.626,455.7/km21848
Escazú San José 56,50952,372+7.9%34.491,638.4/km21848
Desamparados San José 208,411193,478+7.7%118.261,762.3/km21862
Puriscal San José 33,00429,407+12.2%553.6659.6/km21868
Tarrazú San José 16,28014,160+15.0%297.5054.7/km21868
Aserrí San José 57,89249,319+17.4%167.10346.5/km21882
Mora San José 26,29421,666+21.4%162.04162.3/km21883
Goicoechea San José 115,084117,532−2.1%31.503,653.5/km21891
Santa Ana San José 49,12334,507+42.4%61.42799.8/km21907
Alajuelita San José 77,60370,297+10.4%21.173,665.7/km21909
Vásquez de Coronado San José 60,48655,585+8.8%222.20272.2/km21910
Acosta San José 20,20918,661+8.3%342.2459.0/km21910
Tibás San José 64,84272,074−10.0%8.157,956.1/km21914
Moravia San José 56,91950,419+12.9%28.621,988.8/km21914
Montes de Oca San José 49,13250,433−2.6%15.163,240.9/km21915
Turrubares San José 5,5124,877+13.0%415.2913.3/km21920
Dota San José 6,9486,519+6.6%400.2217.4/km21925
Curridabat San José 65,20660,889+7.1%15.954,088.2/km21929
Pérez Zeledón San José 134,534122,187+10.1%1,905.5170.6/km21931
León Cortés Castro San José 12,20011,696+4.3%120.80101.0/km21961
Alajuela Dagger-14-plain.png Alajuela 254,886222,853+14.4%758.32336.1/km21848
San Ramón Alajuela 80,56667,975+18.5%1,018.6479.1/km21856
Grecia Alajuela 76,89865,119+18.1%395.72194.3/km21848
San Mateo Alajuela 6,1365,343+14.8%125.9048.7/km21868
Atenas Alajuela 25,46022,479+13.3%127.19200.2/km21868
Naranjo Alajuela 42,71337,602+13.6%126.62337.3/km21886
Palmares Alajuela 34,71629,766+16.6%38.06912.1/km21888
Poás Alajuela 29,19924,764+17.9%73.84395.4/km21901
Orotina Alajuela 20,34115,705+29.5%141.92143.3/km21908
San Carlos Alajuela 163,745127,140+28.8%3,347.9848.9/km21911
Zarcero Alajuela 12,20510,845+12.5%155.1378.7/km21915
Valverde Vega Alajuela 18,08516,239+11.4%120.25150.4/km21949
Upala Alajuela 43,95337,679+16.7%1,580.6727.8/km21970
Los Chiles Alajuela 23,73519,732+20.3%1,358.8617.5/km21970
Guatuso Alajuela 15,50813,045+18.9%758.3220.5/km21970
Río Cuarto Alajuela 11,07411,0740.0%254.2043.6/km22017
Cartago Dagger-14-plain.png Cartago 147,898132,057+12.0%287.77513.9/km21848
Paraíso Cartago 57,74352,393+10.2%411.91140.2/km21848
La Unión Cartago 99,39980,279+23.8%44.832,217.2/km21848
Jiménez Cartago 14,66914,046+4.4%286.4351.2/km21903
Turrialba Cartago 69,61668,510+1.6%1,642.6742.4/km21903
Alvarado Cartago 14,31212,290+16.5%81.06176.6/km21908
Oreamuno Cartago 45,47339,032+16.5%202.31224.8/km21914
El Guarco Cartago 41,79333,788+23.7%167.69249.2/km21939
Heredia Dagger-14-plain.png Heredia 123,616103,894+19.0%282.60437.4/km21848
Barva Heredia 40,66032,440+25.3%53.80755.8/km21848
Santo Domingo Heredia 40,07234,748+15.3%24.841,613.2/km21869
Santa Bárbara Heredia 36,24329,181+24.2%53.21681.1/km21882
San Rafael Heredia 45,96537,293+23.3%48.39949.9/km21885
San Isidro Heredia 20,63316,056+28.5%26.96765.3/km21905
Belén Heredia 21,63319,834+9.1%12.151,780.5/km21907
Flores Heredia 20,03715,038+33.2%6.962,878.9/km21915
San Pablo Heredia 27,67120,813+33.0%7.533,674.8/km21961
Sarapiquí Heredia 57,14745,435+25.8%2,140.5426.7/km21970
Liberia Dagger-14-plain.png Guanacaste 62,98746,703+34.9%1,436.4743.8/km21848
Nicoya Guanacaste 50,82542,189+20.5%1,333.6838.1/km21848
Santa Cruz Guanacaste 55,10440,821+35.0%1,312.2742.0/km21848
Bagaces Guanacaste 19,53615,972+22.3%1,273.4915.3/km21848
Carrillo Guanacaste 37,12227,306+35.9%577.5464.3/km21877
Cañas Guanacaste 26,20124,076+8.8%682.2038.4/km21878
Abangares Guanacaste 18,03916,276+10.8%675.7626.7/km21915
Tilarán Guanacaste 19,64017,871+9.9%638.3930.8/km21923
Nandayure Guanacaste 11,1219,985+11.4%565.5919.7/km21961
La Cruz Guanacaste 19,18116,505+16.2%1,383.9013.9/km21969
Hojancha Guanacaste 7,1976,534+10.1%261.4227.5/km21971
Puntarenas Dagger-14-plain.png Puntarenas 115,019102,504+12.2%1,842.3362.4/km21862
Esparza Puntarenas 28,64423,963+19.5%216.80132.1/km21848
Buenos Aires Puntarenas 45,24440,139+12.7%2,384.2219.0/km21914
Montes de Oro Puntarenas 12,95011,159+16.0%244.7652.9/km21915
Osa Puntarenas 29,43325,861+13.8%1,930.2415.2/km21940
Quepos Puntarenas 26,86120,188+33.1%543.7749.4/km21948
Golfito Puntarenas 39,15033,823+15.7%1,753.9622.3/km21949
Coto Brus Puntarenas 38,45340,082−4.1%933.9141.2/km21965
Parrita Puntarenas 16,11512,112+33.0%478.7933.7/km21971
Corredores Puntarenas 41,83137,274+12.2%620.6067.4/km21973
Garabito Puntarenas 17,22910,378+66.0%316.3154.5/km21980
Limón Dagger-14-plain.png Limón 94,41589,933+5.0%1,765.7953.5/km21909
Pococí Limón 125,962103,121+22.1%2,403.4952.4/km21911
Siquirres Limón 56,78652,409+8.4%860.1966.0/km21911
Talamanca Limón 30,71225,857+18.8%2,809.9310.9/km21969
Matina Limón 37,72133,096+14.0%772.6448.8/km21969
Guácimo Limón 41,26634,879+18.3%576.4871.6/km21971
Costa Rica 4,301,7123,810,179+12.9%51,10084.2/km2

See also

Related Research Articles

Tibás

Tibás is the 13th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 8.15 km², and has a population of 76,815. The capital city of the canton is San Juan.

Escazú (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

Escazú is the second canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 34.49 km². The canton lies west of the San José Canton and its whole territory is part of San José Metropolitan Area. According to 2011 census data, its population is 56,509.

Desamparados (canton) canton of Costa Rica

Desamparados is the 3rd canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 118.26 km², and has a population of 206,708, making it the third most populated among the 81 cantons of Costa Rica. The capital city of the canton is also called Desamparados.

Puriscal (canton) canton of Costa Rica

Puriscal is the 4th canton in the province of San José, Costa Rica. In Spanish, a "puriscal" is the flower of the common bean. The capital city of the canton is Santiago (de Puriscal).

Montes de Oca (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

Montes de Oca is the 15th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 15.16 square kilometres (5.85 sq mi), and has a population of 54,288. The capital city of the canton is San Pedro.

Zarcero (canton) Cantón in Alajuela, Costa Rica

Zarcero is the 11th canton in Alajuela, a province in Costa Rica. It is located west of the Costa Rican Central Valley, 67 kilometres (42 mi) northeast of the national capital, San José. The region covers an area of 155.13 square kilometers (59.90 sq mi), and is divided into seven districts. To the north, the region borders canton San Carlos, to the south it borders canton Naranjo, to the east it borders canton Valverde Vega and to the west it borders the canton San Ramón. Zarcero was founded on June 21, 1915, and was originally given the name "Alfaro Ruiz" in remembrance of Juan Alfaro Ruíz, a hero from the National Campaign of 1856, or Filibuster War. The capital of the canton is the city of Zarcero.

La Unión (canton) Canton in Cartago, Costa Rica

La Unión is the third canton in the province of Cartago in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 44.83 km2 (17.31 sq mi), and has a population of 85,506.

Belén (canton)

Belén is the seventh canton in the province of Heredia in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 12.15 km², and has a population of 21,085. The capital city of the canton is San Antonio. The area is well known locally for its inland chalk cliffs.

León Cortés (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

León Cortés, also known as León Cortés Castro, is the 20th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 120.80 square kilometres (46.64 sq mi). Its estimated population as of 2009 was 13,285. The capital city of the canton is San Pablo.

Curridabat (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

Curridabat is the 18th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 15.95 square kilometres (6.16 sq mi), and has a population of 72,564. The capital city of the canton is also called Curridabat.

Moravia (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

Moravia is the 14th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 28.62 km², and had a total population of 56,919 people at the 2011 Census. The capital city of the canton is San Vicente.

Acosta (canton) Canton in San José, Costa Rica

Acosta is the 12th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 242.24 km2 (93.53 sq mi), and has a population of 19,342. The capital city of the canton is San Ignacio.

Dota (canton) Cantón in San José, Costa Rica

Dota is the 17th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 400.22 square kilometres (154.53 sq mi), and has a population of 6,940. The capital city of the canton is Santa María.

Alajuelita (canton) canton of Costa Rica

Alajuelita is the 10th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 21.17 km², and has a population of 75,418. The capital city of the canton is Alajuelita.

Goicoechea (canton)

Goicoechea is the eighth canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 31.5 km2 (12.2 sq mi), and has a population of 124,704. The capital city of the canton is Guadalupe.

Aserrí (canton) canton of Costa Rica

Aserrí is the 6th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 167.10 km², and has a population of 52,808. The capital city of the canton is also called Aserrí.

Tarrazú (canton) canton in San José, Costa Rica

Tarrazú is the 5th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 297.50 km², and has a population of 17,233 The capital city of the canton is San Marcos.

Limón (canton) canton in Limón Province

Limón is the first canton in the province of Limón in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 1,765.79 km², and has a population of 97,102. Its capital is the provincial capital city of Puerto Limón.

References

  1. Comisión Nacional de División Territorial Administrativa (1980). Estudio sobre la División Territorial Administrativa de la Republica de Costa Rica[Study on the Administrative Territorial Division of the Republic of Costa Rica] (in Spanish). Costa Rica: Imprenta Nacional. §53.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Población total por zona y sexo, según provincia, cantón y distrito" [Total population by area and sex, province, county and district] (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. 2011. Archived from the original (XLS) on March 5, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  3. Pérez, Carlos Arrieta. "Río Cuarto será el cantón 82 de Costa Rica". El País. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  4. Granados, Greivin. "¡Es oficial! Río Cuarto es el cantón 82 de Costa Rica". La Prensa Libre. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 "Division Territorial Administrativa de Costa Rica" [Administrative Territorial Divisions of Costa Rica](PDF) (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 2, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  6. 1 2 Alfaro and Zeledón (2006). Derechos ciudadanos y el gobierno local en Costa Rica[Rights of citizens and local governments in Costa Rica] (in Spanish). San José: Lara Segura & Asoc. p. 35.
  7. Alfaro and Zeledón (2006). Derechos ciudadanos y el gobierno local en Costa Rica[Rights of citizens and local governments in Costa Rica] (in Spanish). San José: Lara Segura & Asoc. pp. 36–37.
  8. "El Elector" [The Elector](PDF) (in Spanish). Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones. May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-20. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  9. Unidad de Información y Adiestramiento (1987). La Municipalidad y sus funciones[The Municipality and its functions] (in Spanish). San José. §6.
  10. Unidad de Información y Adiestramiento (1987). La Municipalidad y sus funciones[The Municipality and its functions] (in Spanish). San José. §11.
  11. 1 2 "Población total por zona y sexo, según provincia, cantón y distrito" [Total population by area and sex, province, county and district] (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. 2000. Archived from the original (XLS) on May 5, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2015.