50 Fascinating Facts about Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an island country that is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. It is directly east of the Dominican Republic, and west of the British and the United States Virgin Islands. The country is comprised of one large island, where most of the inhabitants live, and many smaller islands. The country is home to 3.6 million people, while its capital city of San Juan is home to almost 400,000 people. The primary languages are both Spanish and English. The country is one of few in the world that is officially bilingual. Puerto Rico does not have an official religion, and their constitution states that all citizens have freedom of religion. The main religions that are practiced in the country are Catholicism and Protestantism. The country’s flag is comprised of a blue triangle with a white star located on the left side, with red and white stripes filling the rest of the flag’s background. The currency in Puerto Rico is United States dollar; however it is often referred to as the peso or dolar in the country.

Puerto Rico Facts

1
The country’s total nominal GDP is $98.76 billion, which is the 98th highest in the world. Its per capita GDP is $26,588, which is the 35th highest in the world. This means that Puerto Ricans have a very high standard of living.
2
Puerto Rico’s economy thrives from tourism, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and technology.
3
Their main exports today include chemicals, electronics, tuna, rum and medical equipment. Their main imports include oil, food, clothing and machinery.
4
Puerto Rico’s main trading partner is the United States. They also trade heavily with the Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom.
5
Puerto Rico is considered a territory of the United States. Its official name is the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
6
Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1493, one year after he discovered the Americas. He named it San Juan Bautista, after John the Baptist.
7
The United States gained Puerto Rico as a territory after the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Treaty of Paris that was signed to end the war allotted the island country to the United States in 1917. This also meant that every citizen of Puerto Rico was granted U.S. citizenship.
8
Spanish and English are the two main languages spoken throughout the island
9
Throughout the entire year, the temperatures in Puerto Rico vary between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
10
Basketball, volleyball and boxing are the most popular sports in Puerto Rico.
11
The tasty and spicy food of Puerto Rico comes from a mixture of Spanish, America, British and African inspirations.
12
In Puerto Rico, it is very well-mannered to kiss someone on the cheek when greeting them. During your conversation, it is also appropriate to stand very close to the person who you are talking to.
13
Many of the words that Puerto Ricans use for building names, household items and food products originated from the Taino Indians, who lived in Puerto Rico before Christopher Columbus founded the island.
14
Spanglish can be heard in parts of the country, due to the influence of the English language.
15
Bomba, plena and trova music can be heard throughout the streets of Puerto Rico during parties and celebrations. Merengue music and dancing is also popular.
16
In the late 1960s, many Cubans fled to Puerto Rico in order to leave Fidel Castro’s ruling. Due to this, many traditional Cubans meals and traditions have been incorporated into Puerto Rico’s culture.
17
Women from Puerto Rico have won the Miss Universe pageant five times. Even though the country is a territory of the United States, it competes as an individual.
18
Puerto Rico also competes individually in the Olympics each year, and they have won six medals total.
19
The country isn’t home to any indigenous large wildlife. Most of their animals are exotic birds and fish.
20
The largest telescope in the world is located in Puerto Rico. It is used to look at asteroids in space, and determine if any ever get too close to the Earth’s surface.
21
The widest part of the island is 65 kilometers.
22
Rum has contributed greatly to the widely to the country’s economy and history. It has been apart of the island’s history for over 400 years.
23
Puerto Rican grants its people the freedom of religion in its constitution. The major religion practiced is Catholicism, with 85% of the population following this faith.
24
Because Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, Americans do not need a passport to travel there. However, it's always a good idea to bring a photo I.D. card.
25
The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico is 18.
26
The formal name of Puerto Rico is Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, which translates to mean Free Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
27
In terms of area, Puerto Rico is about the size of the state of Connecticut.
28
Puerto Rico has a total of 78 municipalities. These are similar to counties found in U.S. states.
29
Puerto Rico is very famous for its beaches, and it's no wonder. The area has 270 miles of beaches to explore.
30
Puerto Rico's flag was officially adopted in 1922. The red stripes represent the "blood" that nourishes the three branches of government.
31
Like the U.S., drivers drive on the right side of the road. However, signs are written in Spanish and gas is measured in liters instead of gallons.
32
Over 200 caves can be explored at Rio Camuy Cave Park.
33
Salta de Doña Juana is a 100-foot waterfall that has crystal clear water. It is definitely a top tourist attraction in the area.
34
Residents of Puerto Rico are considered U.S. citizens. However, they cannot vote in U.S. elections.
35
Puerto Rican citizens began serving in the U.S. armed forces in 1917, beginning with World War I.
36
The cruise port in San Juan is the 2nd largest in the Western Hemisphere.
37
An economic recession in 2005 resulted in Puerto Ricans moving to the U.S., leading to a decline in population. Unfortunately, the trend has only continued.
38
The literacy rate of Puerto Rico is over 93%.
39
99% of the Puerto Rican population is Latino.
40
The U.S. once tried to purchase Puerto Rico for $160 million. Spain rejected the offer.
41
Most Puerto Ricans that come to the U.S. reside in Florida. About 7,300 Puerto Ricans move to Florida each year.
42
The U.S. changed its name to Porto Rico in 1898. It was changed again to Puerto Rico in 1931.
43
Puerto Rico has several blue sand beaches. The sand appears blue because it has a high amount of iron.
44
Puerto Rico is home to El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest that is part of the U.S. Forest System.
45
San Juan's Plaza Las Americas is one of the most profitable malls per square foot in the world.
46
The Bacardi rum factory is located in Puerto Rico and is the largest rum distillery in the entire world.
47
Daylight Savings Time is not observed in Puerto Rico.
48
Puerto Ricans do not pay income tax.
49
The streets of Puerto Rico are paved with blue cobblestones.
50
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of this territory. However, it is called "peso" or "dolar" by natives.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful country that thrives from tourism and manufacturing. The country is home to vibrant people, who love families, parties and spending time outside. It’s beautiful and temperate climate draws people to visit, and even move, to the country each year. Since it is a territory of the United Sates, much of the tourism comes from there, since passports are not needed in order to travel. If you are interested in travelling to this great country to see the nature, climate and people for yourself, then book a flight between December and April when hurricanes are less likely to occur.

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