World Facts

Is Puerto Rico a Country?

Puerto Rico is not a country but instead an unincorporated territory of the United States.

Puerto Rico is a Spanish phrase that translates to "Rich Port" in English. The island of Puerto Rico is located on the northeastern side of the Caribbean Sea. The population of Puerto Rico is approximately 3.4 million. Spanish is the most dominant language, followed by English. The capital and the most populated city of Puerto Rico is San Juan.

Geography of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an archipelago that is composed of Puerto Rico as the main island and several other islands including Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. Not all of the islands of Puerto Rico are inhabited all year round.

Puerto Rico is mostly mountainous. The most recognized mountain on the island is the Central Ranges or the "La Cordillera Central" as it is commonly referred. The highest peak on the island, Cerro de Punta, which is at 1,338 meters above sea level, is located on the Central Range. Puerto Rico has 17 lakes, all of them being man-made.

Government and Politics of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has eight senatorial districts and 78 municipals. Its high-most powers are executed and vested on the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United States. Puerto Rico has a federal type of government. The head of State of Puerto Rico is the president of the United States.

As from 1952 up to around 2007, Puerto Rico has had three dominant political parties. The three political parties have had contradicting views on how the sovereignty of the state should be. The Popular Democratic Party has been advocating for the island to retain its status with the US as a commonwealth. The New Progressive Party has been of the view that the island of Puerto Rico should be admitted as one of the states of US. The Puerto Rican Independence Party has been advocating for Puerto Rico to be made a sovereign state with no influence and governance from other states and nations.

Puerto Rico Is a US Territory

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. People of Puerto Rico are considered by law to be natural born citizens of the United States of America. Puerto Ricans can move freely from the island to the mainland of the United States. The Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950 puts the island of Puerto Rico under the governance of the US Congress.

Puerto Ricans are not entitled to voting rights in the United States Congress. The reason for this is because the island has not been admitted as one of the US states. However, they are allowed to participate in election primaries.

The security of Puerto Rico is the business of the United States. The president of the US is also the commander-chief of the Puerto Rican soldiers.

Foreign Relations

Being a US territory, Puerto Rico cannot engage in international relations and co-operation with other nations and states. The United States’ government has the mandate to control its relationship with other states.

It is also important to note that a number of Puerto Ricans have been appointed to serve as US ambassadors to different states and in international organizations. They are mostly designated to serve as US ambassadors to Latin America countries.

More in World Facts