Puerto Rico

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Christopher COLUMBUS' second voyage to the Americas. Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917. For decades plebiscites showed that voters chose not to alter the existing political status with the US, but a 2020 vote showed a narrow preference for American statehood.

Geography

Area

total: 9,104 sq km

land: 8,959 sq km

water: 145 sq km

Climate

tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation

Natural resources

some copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil

People and Society

Population

3,098,423 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

White 75.8%, Black/African American 12.4%, other 8.5% (includes American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, and others), mixed 3.3% (2010 est.)

Languages

Spanish, English

Religions

Roman Catholic 56%, Protestant 33% (largely Pentecostal), other 2%, atheist 1%, none 7% (2014 est.)

Population growth rate

-1.38% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

unincorporated organized territory of the US with local self-government; republican form of territorial government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches

Capital

name: San Juan

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joseph R. BIDEN Jr. (since 20 January 2021); Vice President Kamala D. HARRIS (since 20 January 2021)

head of government: Governor Pedro PIERLUISI (since 2 January 2021)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa consists of:
Senate or Senado (30 seats; 16 members directly elected in 8 2-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 14 at-large members directly elected by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (51 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

US Caribbean island territorial economy; hit hard by COVID-19 and hurricanes; declining labor force and job growth after a decade of continuous recession; capital-based industry and tourism; high poverty; energy import-dependent

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$106.82 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$33,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, plantains, bananas, poultry, tomatoes, mangoes/guavas, eggs, oranges, gourds, papayas

Industries

pharmaceuticals, electronics, apparel, food products, tourism

Exports

$73.17 billion (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

Italy 15%, Netherlands 15%, Belgium 9%, Japan 8%, Germany 8%, Austria 8%, Spain 7%, China 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

packaged medicines, medical cultures/vaccines, hormones, orthopedic and medical appliances, sulfur compounds (2019)

Imports

$49.01 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

Ireland 38%, Singapore 9%, Switzerland 8%, South Korea 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

nitrogen compounds, sulfur compounds, refined petroleum, medical cultures/vaccines, cars (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022