Which of the following countries does not have armed forces?

Considering Costa Rica, Monaco, Haiti and Belize, the answer is: Costa Rica.

Photo credit: Marcelo Villalobos. 

After leading a civil war and becoming the president in 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer demilitarized the country. Following his announcement, he proclaimed that the military headquarters would become a museum and the military budget money would be used for education, healthcare and environmental protection.  

First discovered by Western colonists at the start of the 16th century, Costa Rica has since grown to become one of the most favorable destinations in the world. The island nation has one of the oldest democracies in Latin America, and thus has successfully avoided many of the political problems in the region in the 1970s and 1980s. Additionally, due to the lack of military, the government has reinvested in education, a social safety net, and health care in abundance. Costa Rica now has an impressive literacy rate of 97.8%, enjoys relative peace, and abundant economic resources for its citizens.

Costa Rica is also known for its diverse wildlife and natural landscapes. With over 800 miles of coastline, Costa Rica is home to approximately 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity. What's more: Costa Rica has over 25% of its land area protected as either a national park or wildlife reserve. This is the largest percentage of territory protected out of any other country in the world.

Learn more about this thriving island destination here.

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