Is Puerto Rico an Island?

By Sophy Owuor on January 4 2019 in World Facts

Puerto Rico is made up of a number of islands.
Puerto Rico is made up of a number of islands.

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States (partially controlled by the US but not part of it) situated in the Caribbean Sea. Located in the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico includes one main island as well as several other smaller islands such as Vieques, Mona, and Culebra. Puerto Rico has a population of approximately 3.4 million people, with San Juan as the capital and most populous city. The island is a popular tourist destination because of its rich culture, heritage, and natural beauty. The majority of Puerto Ricans are US citizens and enjoy free movement between the island and the mainland. However, since Puerto Rico is not a state, it does not have a vote in the US Congress.

Geography Of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an island territory of the US made up of the main island and several other smaller islands. Of the smaller islands only two, Vieques and Culebra, are inhabited throughout the year. The island of Mona is uninhabited most of the time except by the employees of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources. The territory of Puerto Rico also consists of even smaller islets such as Monito, La Isla de San Juan, and Isla de Cabras. The area of Puerto Rico span over 5,320 square miles of which 3,420 square miles is land and the rest is water. By area, Puerto Rico is large than US states of Rhode Island and Delaware. The main island runs approximately 110 miles long from east to west and 40 miles long from north to south. The island is the smallest of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico is mainly mountainous with La Cordillera Central as the main mountain range. Puerto Rico has a network of 50 rivers and 17 lakes (all artificial lakes.)


Puerto Rico is located at the boundary of North America and Caribbean plates and is at risk of being deformed by the tectonic stress resulting from the interaction of the two plates. The tectonic stress may result in tsunamis and earthquakes. Approximately 71 miles north of Puerto Rico is the Puerto Rico Trench which is the deepest and largest trench in the Atlantic Ocean. It is located at the boundary between the two plates with Milwaukee Deep as the deepest point at 27,600 feet deep.

Administration And Government

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and subject to the authority of the US. The political powers of the government are exercised on behalf of the US Congress and is not fully protected by the Constitution of the US. The President of the US is the territory’s head of state. The island has a non-voting representative in the US Congress known as Resident Commissioner. Apart from the central government, Puerto Rico has 78 municipalities, 40 representative districts, and 8 senatorial districts. The municipalities are headed by mayors and are further subdivided into barrios and sectors. Puerto Rico also plays hosts to a number of consulates from around the world with the majority from Europe and the Americas.

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