Cantons of Costa Rica

  (Redirected from List of cities in Costa Rica)

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.

Map of Central America with Costa Rica highlighted
Map of Central America with Costa Rica highlighted

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]

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]

Political structureEdit

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 council (Concejo Municipal) and an executive officer called 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]

Cities in Costa RicaEdit

According to the Executive Decree N°41548-MGP (Declara oficial para efectos administrativos, la aprobación de la División Territorial Administrativa de la República), a city in Costa Rica is a ceremonial title awarded to a district or districts which contain the administrative center regardless of factors such as population, population density, or economic indicators. This designation is also known as cabecera de cantón, head city of the canton.[11]

CantonsEdit

  Provincial Capital 

  National Capital and Provincial Capital 

Canton City[11] Province Population
(2011)[2]
Population
(2000)[12]
Change[2][12] Land area (km2)[5] Population density Incorporation date[5]
San José  San José San José 288,054 309,672 −7.0% 44.62 6,455.7/km2 1848
Escazú Escazú San José 56,509 52,372 +7.9% 34.49 1,638.4/km2 1848
Desamparados Desamparados San José 208,411 193,478 +7.7% 118.26 1,762.3/km2 1862
Puriscal Santiago San José 33,004 29,407 +12.2% 553.66 59.6/km2 1868
Tarrazú San Marcos San José 16,280 14,160 +15.0% 297.50 54.7/km2 1868
Aserrí Aserrí San José 57,892 49,319 +17.4% 167.10 346.5/km2 1882
Mora Ciudad Colón San José 26,294 21,666 +21.4% 162.04 162.3/km2 1883
Goicoechea Guadalupe San José 115,084 117,532 −2.1% 31.50 3,653.5/km2 1891
Santa Ana Santa Ana San José 49,123 34,507 +42.4% 61.42 799.8/km2 1907
Alajuelita Alajuelita San José 77,603 70,297 +10.4% 21.17 3,665.7/km2 1909
Vázquez de Coronado San Isidro San José 60,486 55,585 +8.8% 222.20 272.2/km2 1910
Acosta San Ignacio San José 20,209 18,661 +8.3% 342.24 59.0/km2 1910
Tibás San Juan San José 64,842 72,074 −10.0% 8.15 7,956.1/km2 1914
Moravia San Vicente San José 56,919 50,419 +12.9% 28.62 1,988.8/km2 1914
Montes de Oca San Pedro San José 49,132 50,433 −2.6% 15.16 3,240.9/km2 1915
Turrubares San Pablo San José 5,512 4,877 +13.0% 415.29 13.3/km2 1920
Dota Santa María San José 6,948 6,519 +6.6% 400.22 17.4/km2 1925
Curridabat Curridabat San José 65,206 60,889 +7.1% 15.95 4,088.2/km2 1929
Pérez Zeledón San Isidro de El General San José 134,534 122,187 +10.1% 1,905.51 70.6/km2 1931
León Cortés Castro San Pablo San José 12,200 11,696 +4.3% 120.80 101.0/km2 1961
Alajuela  Alajuela Alajuela 254,886 222,853 +14.4% 758.32 336.1/km2 1848
San Ramón San Ramón Alajuela 80,566 67,975 +18.5% 1,018.64 79.1/km2 1856
Grecia Grecia Alajuela 76,898 65,119 +18.1% 395.72 194.3/km2 1848
San Mateo San Mateo Alajuela 6,136 5,343 +14.8% 125.90 48.7/km2 1868
Atenas Atenas Alajuela 25,460 22,479 +13.3% 127.19 200.2/km2 1868
Naranjo Naranjo Alajuela 42,713 37,602 +13.6% 126.62 337.3/km2 1886
Palmares Palmares Alajuela 34,716 29,766 +16.6% 38.06 912.1/km2 1888
Poás San Pedro Alajuela 29,199 24,764 +17.9% 73.84 395.4/km2 1901
Orotina Orotina Alajuela 20,341 15,705 +29.5% 141.92 143.3/km2 1908
San Carlos Quesada Alajuela 163,745 127,140 +28.8% 3,347.98 48.9/km2 1911
Zarcero Zarcero Alajuela 12,205 10,845 +12.5% 155.13 78.7/km2 1915
Sarchí Sarchí Norte Alajuela 18,085 16,239 +11.4% 120.25 150.4/km2 1949
Upala Upala Alajuela 43,953 37,679 +16.7% 1,580.67 27.8/km2 1970
Los Chiles Los Chiles Alajuela 23,735 19,732 +20.3% 1,358.86 17.5/km2 1970
Guatuso San Rafael Alajuela 15,508 13,045 +18.9% 758.32 20.5/km2 1970
Río Cuarto Río Cuarto Alajuela 11,074 11,074 0.0% 254.20 43.6/km2 2017
Cartago  Cartago Cartago 147,898 132,057 +12.0% 287.77 513.9/km2 1848
Paraíso Paraíso Cartago 57,743 52,393 +10.2% 411.91 140.2/km2 1848
La Unión Tres Ríos Cartago 99,399 80,279 +23.8% 44.83 2,217.2/km2 1848
Jiménez Juan Viñas Cartago 14,669 14,046 +4.4% 286.43 51.2/km2 1903
Turrialba Turrialba Cartago 69,616 68,510 +1.6% 1,642.67 42.4/km2 1903
Alvarado Pacayas Cartago 14,312 12,290 +16.5% 81.06 176.6/km2 1908
Oreamuno San Rafael Cartago 45,473 39,032 +16.5% 202.31 224.8/km2 1914
El Guarco El Tejar Cartago 41,793 33,788 +23.7% 167.69 249.2/km2 1939
Heredia  Heredia Heredia 123,616 103,894 +19.0% 282.60 437.4/km2 1848
Barva Barva Heredia 40,660 32,440 +25.3% 53.80 755.8/km2 1848
Santo Domingo Santo Domingo Heredia 40,072 34,748 +15.3% 24.84 1,613.2/km2 1869
Santa Bárbara Santa Bárbara Heredia 36,243 29,181 +24.2% 53.21 681.1/km2 1882
San Rafael San Rafael Heredia 45,965 37,293 +23.3% 48.39 949.9/km2 1885
San Isidro San Isidro Heredia 20,633 16,056 +28.5% 26.96 765.3/km2 1905
Belén San Antonio Heredia 21,633 19,834 +9.1% 12.15 1,780.5/km2 1907
Flores San Joaquín Heredia 20,037 15,038 +33.2% 6.96 2,878.9/km2 1915
San Pablo San Pablo Heredia 27,671 20,813 +33.0% 7.53 3,674.8/km2 1961
Sarapiquí Puerto Viejo Heredia 57,147 45,435 +25.8% 2,140.54 26.7/km2 1970
Liberia  Liberia Guanacaste 62,987 46,703 +34.9% 1,436.47 43.8/km2 1848
Nicoya Nicoya Guanacaste 50,825 42,189 +20.5% 1,333.68 38.1/km2 1848
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Guanacaste 55,104 40,821 +35.0% 1,312.27 42.0/km2 1848
Bagaces Bagaces Guanacaste 19,536 15,972 +22.3% 1,273.49 15.3/km2 1848
Carrillo Filadelfia Guanacaste 37,122 27,306 +35.9% 577.54 64.3/km2 1877
Cañas Cañas Guanacaste 26,201 24,076 +8.8% 682.20 38.4/km2 1878
Abangares Las Juntas Guanacaste 18,039 16,276 +10.8% 675.76 26.7/km2 1915
Tilarán Tilarán Guanacaste 19,640 17,871 +9.9% 638.39 30.8/km2 1923
Nandayure Carmona Guanacaste 11,121 9,985 +11.4% 565.59 19.7/km2 1961
La Cruz La Cruz Guanacaste 19,181 16,505 +16.2% 1,383.90 13.9/km2 1969
Hojancha Hojancha Guanacaste 7,197 6,534 +10.1% 261.42 27.5/km2 1971
Puntarenas  Puntarenas Puntarenas 115,019 102,504 +12.2% 1,842.33 62.4/km2 1862
Esparza Esparza (Espíritu Santo district) Puntarenas 28,644 23,963 +19.5% 216.80 132.1/km2 1848
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Puntarenas 45,244 40,139 +12.7% 2,384.22 19.0/km2 1914
Montes de Oro Miramar Puntarenas 12,950 11,159 +16.0% 244.76 52.9/km2 1915
Osa Puerto Cortés Puntarenas 29,433 25,861 +13.8% 1,930.24 15.2/km2 1940
Quepos Quepos Puntarenas 26,861 20,188 +33.1% 543.77 49.4/km2 1948
Golfito Golfito Puntarenas 39,150 33,823 +15.7% 1,753.96 22.3/km2 1949
Coto Brus San Vito Puntarenas 38,453 40,082 −4.1% 933.91 41.2/km2 1965
Parrita Parrita Puntarenas 16,115 12,112 +33.0% 478.79 33.7/km2 1971
Corredores Ciudad Neily (Corredor district) Puntarenas 41,831 37,274 +12.2% 620.60 67.4/km2 1973
Garabito Jacó Puntarenas 17,229 10,378 +66.0% 316.31 54.5/km2 1980
Limón  Limón Limón 94,415 89,933 +5.0% 1,765.79 53.5/km2 1909
Pococí Guápiles Limón 125,962 103,121 +22.1% 2,403.49 52.4/km2 1911
Siquirres Siquirres Limón 56,786 52,409 +8.4% 860.19 66.0/km2 1911
Talamanca Bribrí (Bratsi district) Limón 30,712 25,857 +18.8% 2,809.93 10.9/km2 1969
Matina Matina Limón 37,721 33,096 +14.0% 772.64 48.8/km2 1969
Guácimo Guácimo Limón 41,266 34,879 +18.3% 576.48 71.6/km2 1971
Costa Rica 4,301,712 3,810,179 +12.9% 51,100 84.2/km2

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ a b c d "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. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b "Division Territorial Administrativa de Costa Rica" (in Spanish). Sistema Costarricense de Informacion Juridica. September 2, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "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.