Year Founded: 1821
Costa Rica is an upper-middle-income country, ranked 15 in the World Happiness Report by the United Nations and selected as one of the best places to retire by Forbes in 2020. It is the first country to abolish its army in the world. This not only allows them to avoid political strife and violence, but the former military budget is now used for social welfare such as medicine, healthcare, and education, making Costa Rica a success story in Central America. In recent years, the high-tech industry and ecotourism have become the primary industries in Costa Rica’s economy. It’s the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in Central America.