Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country to have been a democracy since 1950 or earlier. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, ranked 62nd in the world in 2012.
Costa Rica was cited by the United Nations United Nations Development Programme in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels and, in 2011, was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability and having a better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. The country is ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2012 Environmental Performance Index.
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