Cantons of Costa Rica

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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 sovereign state 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 first level administrative subdivision in 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 the province of San José in 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 the province of San José 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, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located in the centre of the country, specifically in the mid-west of the Central Valley, and contained within San José Canton. San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of Costa Rica. The population of San José Canton was 288,054 in 2011, and San José’s municipal land area measures 44.2 square kilometers, with an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. Together with several other cantons of the central valley including Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago it forms the Greater Metropolitan Area of the country, with 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%44.621848
Escazú San José 56,50952,372+7.9%34.491848
Desamparados San José 208,411193,478+7.7%118.261862
Puriscal San José 33,00429,407+12.2%553.661868
Tarrazú San José 16,28014,160+15.0%297.501868
Aserrí San José 57,89249,319+17.4%167.101882
Mora San José 26,29421,666+21.4%162.041883
Goicoechea San José 115,084117,532−2.1%31.501891
Santa Ana San José 49,12334,507+42.4%61.421907
Alajuelita San José 77,60370,297+10.4%21.171909
Vásquez de Coronado San José 60,48655,585+8.8%222.201910
Acosta San José 20,20918,661+8.3%342.241910
Tibás San José 64,84272,074−10.0%8.151914
Moravia San José 56,91950,419+12.9%28.621914
Montes de Oca San José 49,13250,433−2.6%15.161915
Turrubares San José 5,5124,877+13.0%415.291920
Dota San José 6,9486,519+6.6%400.221925
Curridabat San José 65,20660,889+7.1%15.951929
Pérez Zeledón San José 134,534122,187+10.1%1,905.511931
León Cortés Castro San José 12,20011,696+4.3%120.801961
Alajuela Dagger-14-plain.png Alajuela 254,886222,853+14.4%758.321848
San Ramón Alajuela 80,56667,975+18.5%1,018.641856
Grecia Alajuela 76,89865,119+18.1%395.721848
San Mateo Alajuela 6,1365,343+14.8%125.901868
Atenas Alajuela 25,46022,479+13.3%127.191868
Naranjo Alajuela 42,71337,602+13.6%126.621886
Palmares Alajuela 34,71629,766+16.6%38.061888
Poás Alajuela 29,19924,764+17.9%73.841901
Orotina Alajuela 20,34115,705+29.5%141.921908
San Carlos Alajuela 163,745127,140+28.8%3,347.981911
Zarcero Alajuela 12,20510,845+12.5%155.131915
Valverde Vega Alajuela 18,08516,239+11.4%120.251949
Upala Alajuela 43,95337,679+16.7%1,580.671970
Los Chiles Alajuela 23,73519,732+20.3%1,358.861970
Guatuso Alajuela 15,50813,045+18.9%758.321970
Río Cuarto Alajuela 11,07411,0740.0%254.202017
Cartago Dagger-14-plain.png Cartago 147,898132,057+12.0%287.771848
Paraíso Cartago 57,74352,393+10.2%411.911848
La Unión Cartago 99,39980,279+23.8%44.831848
Jiménez Cartago 14,66914,046+4.4%286.431903
Turrialba Cartago 69,61668,510+1.6%1,642.671903
Alvarado Cartago 14,31212,290+16.5%81.061908
Oreamuno Cartago 45,47339,032+16.5%202.311914
El Guarco Cartago 41,79333,788+23.7%167.691939
Heredia Dagger-14-plain.png Heredia 123,616103,894+19.0%282.601848
Barva Heredia 40,66032,440+25.3%53.801848
Santo Domingo Heredia 40,07234,748+15.3%24.841869
Santa Bárbara Heredia 36,24329,181+24.2%53.211882
San Rafael Heredia 45,96537,293+23.3%48.391885
San Isidro Heredia 20,63316,056+28.5%26.961905
Belén Heredia 21,63319,834+9.1%12.151907
Flores Heredia 20,03715,038+33.2%6.961915
San Pablo Heredia 27,67120,813+33.0%7.531961
Sarapiquí Heredia 57,14745,435+25.8%2,140.541970
Liberia Dagger-14-plain.png Guanacaste 62,98746,703+34.9%1,436.471848
Nicoya Guanacaste 50,82542,189+20.5%1,333.681848
Santa Cruz Guanacaste 55,10440,821+35.0%1,312.271848
Bagaces Guanacaste 19,53615,972+22.3%1,273.491848
Carrillo Guanacaste 37,12227,306+35.9%577.541877
Cañas Guanacaste 26,20124,076+8.8%682.201878
Abangares Guanacaste 18,03916,276+10.8%675.761915
Tilarán Guanacaste 19,64017,871+9.9%638.391923
Nandayure Guanacaste 11,1219,985+11.4%565.591961
La Cruz Guanacaste 19,18116,505+16.2%1,383.901969
Hojancha Guanacaste 7,1976,534+10.1%261.421971
Puntarenas Dagger-14-plain.png Puntarenas 115,019102,504+12.2%1,842.331862
Esparza Puntarenas 28,64423,963+19.5%216.801848
Buenos Aires Puntarenas 45,24440,139+12.7%2,384.221914
Montes de Oro Puntarenas 12,95011,159+16.0%244.761915
Osa Puntarenas 29,43325,861+13.8%1,930.241940
Quepos Puntarenas 26,86120,188+33.1%543.771948
Golfito Puntarenas 39,15033,823+15.7%1,753.961949
Coto Brus Puntarenas 38,45340,082−4.1%933.911965
Parrita Puntarenas 16,11512,112+33.0%478.791971
Corredores Puntarenas 41,83137,274+12.2%620.601973
Garabito Puntarenas 17,22910,378+66.0%316.311980
Limón Dagger-14-plain.png Limón 94,41589,933+5.0%1,765.791909
Pococí Limón 125,962103,121+22.1%2,403.491911
Siquirres Limón 56,78652,409+8.4%860.191911
Talamanca Limón 30,71225,857+18.8%2,809.931969
Matina Limón 37,72133,096+14.0%772.641969
Guácimo Limón 41,26634,879+18.3%576.481971
Costa Rica 4,301,7123,810,179+12.9%51,100

See also

Related Research Articles

Tibás Canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica

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 the province of San José in 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 in the province of San José in 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 in the province of San José in 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 the province of San José in 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 the province of San José in 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 the province of San José in 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 the province of San José in 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 the province of San José in 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) Canton in the province of San José in 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 in the province of San José in 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) Canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica

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 in the province of San José in 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 the province of San José in 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.