The debt per capita in Costa Rica is very low, with US$ 7,200/citzen. "Per capita" numbers are always a great way to compare different economies from around the world. If every citizen in a country suddenly became liable for paying an equal share of the national debt, there would be serious problems, especially when an individual’s portion of the national debt is more than an entire year’s salary. As you will see on the chart below, there's SERIOUS issues in North America, Europe and Asia. It is an indication that those countries are not financially "healty". OK I know, I am making a big statement here. But as a Canadian, I allow myself to say it because I have seen it in my daily life. Everybody I know has BIG debts, payments all over. That debt per capita is ON TOP of it. It is money spent by the government on your behalf, that is not in the bank account. A DEBT.
I always laugh when people tell me that Costa Rica is a poor country. I am not quite sure if not having big debts but living with what you can afford is considered poor. It's true that our roads are not all paved. It's true that we don't have an office for governmental services in every province or town like in North America. It's also true that the majority of Costa Rica citizens don't own a property and when they do, it's a simple house. The average salary of a gardener, maid, construction guy and many other worker is between US$ 6,000 and US$ 10,000 per year. BUT they owe nothing to anyone. They are free of debts, without credit cards and without stress.
That's what I call PURA VIDA.
Source picture: https://howmuch.net