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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Guide. Puerto Rico Country Profile.

Country Profile: Puerto Rico.

Interesting trivia: Puerto Rico is popularly known in Spanish as “La Isla del Encanto” (English - “The Island of Enchantment”).

Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. The 3.950 million people that inhibit the island of Puerto Rico make it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

The official languages are Spanish and English with Spanish being the primary language. It is also a crossroads of Hispanic and Anglo cultures.

Puerto Rico is a leader in the pharma and medical technology manufacturing sector. The economy of Puerto Rico is one of the most dynamic in the Caribbean region. Puerto Rico is still a viable investment destination for individual and corporate investors.

:: Background of Puerto Rico ::

Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following COLUMBUS’ second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917. Popularly-elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998, voters chose not to alter the existing political status.

:: Geography of Puerto Rico ::

Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic.
Geographic coordinates: 18 15 N, 66 30 W

Area:
total: 13,790 sq km
land: 8,870 sq km
water: 4,921 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 501 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm, exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: mostly mountains with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas.

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m, highest point: Cerro de Punta 1,339 m
Natural resources: some copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil

Land use:
arable land: 3.69%
permanent crops: 5.59%
other: 90.72% (2005)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts; hurricanes
Environment – current issues: erosion; occasional drought causing water shortages

:: People of Puerto Rico ::

Population: 3,958,128 (July 2008 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.5% (male 415,141/female 396,782)
15-64 years: 66% (male 1,254,416/female 1,358,229)
65 years and over: 13.5% (male 229,727/female 303,833) (2008 est.)

Median age:
total: 35.6 years
male: 33.8 years
female: 37.3 years (2008 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.369% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 12.61 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 7.88 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 8.65 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.58 years
male: 74.64 years
female: 82.73 years (2008 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.76 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prévalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 7,397 (1997)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: NA

Nationality: noun: Puerto Rican(s) (US citizens) adjective: Puerto Rican

Ethnic groups: white (mostly Spanish origin) 80.5%, black 8%, Amerindian 0.4%, Asian 0.2%, mixed 4.2%, other 6.7% (2000 census)

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant and other 15%
Languages: Spanish, English

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.1%
male: 93.9%
female: 94.4% (2002 est.)