Puerto Rico Fact Sheet

Official Name
Puerto Rico -  The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Nick name
Official Languages
Spanish and English (25% are fluent in English - most know some)
Puerto Rican and American citizens, "Boricua" (indigenous term)
Ethnic Group
Caribbean Sea, approximately 1000 miles from Miami
Roughly 110 miles by 36 miles
Total area
3,492 sq. mi.
Land area
3,427 sq. mi.
Land regions
(1) the Coastal Lowlands, (2) the Coastal Valleys,
            (3) the Foothills, and (4) the Central Mountains.
November 19, 1493 by Cristóforo Colombo
Ruled by:

1493-1898 Spanish colony
1898-present U.S. colony

San Juan
Largest Cities
San Juan, Bayamón, Ponce, Carolina, and Mayagüez
Five equal horizontal bands of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears a large white five-pointed star in the center; design based on the Cuban flag with inverted colors.
National Hymn
La Borinqueña
National Holiday
Discovery Day - November 19th (Celebrates most U.S. Holidays)
National Symbol
El Coquí, a tiny 1" tree frog that sings throughout the night
National Tree
National Flower
National Bird
National Sport
Beisbol (baseball)
National Motto
Joannes Est Nomen Eius (John is his name)
Indigenous People
Taíno Indians
85% Catholic
or municipios
Total 78 (each municipio has an urban or semiurban nucleus (city, town, or village) and may include both urban and rural areas.

Head of State - The President of the United States
Governor elected by the people.
Congress made up of
two houses 1) Senate & 2) House of Representatives. All elected by the populous.
Judiciary system modeled after the U.S.
Has the same structure as U.S. Government and runs much like a state.


The island is represented in the U.S. Congress by a Resident Commissioner who has a voice but no vote.

Political Parties

PPD - Partido Popular Democratico
PNP - Partido Nuevo Progresista
PIP - Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño

3,808,610 (2000) - approx. 3.9 plus million live in mainland USA
Literacy Rate
90% - better than most states (US Labor Department figures)
Education Level
56% have at least one year of college (US Labor Department figures)
U.S. dollar
Mostly mountains with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas
Tropical marine, mild, little seasonal temperature variation.
Average temperature 72 degrees.
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Cerro de Punta 1,338 m (4,389 feet) in Jayuya.
18 years of age; universal; indigenous inhabitants are U.S. citizens but do not vote in presidential elections.
Natural resources
Some copper and nickel, potential for onshore and offshore oil
Principal industries
Principal manufactured goods
pharmaceuticals; chemicals, machinery and metals, electric machinery              and equipment, food products, apparel, petroleum refining.
Chief crops
coffee, plantains, pineapples, tomatoes, sugarcane, bananas, peppers,              pumpkins, lettuce, tobacco, yams.
Tourist Attractions
Old San Juan including El Morro, La Fortaleza, and all the sites. Arecibo Observatory; La Parguera, Cueva del Indio, Tibes Indian Ceremonial site, Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park, City of Ponce, Ponce Museum of Art, Luquillo Beach, El Yunque Rain Forest, Cueva de Camuy, Mona Island Reserve, Vieques Island, and countless others.
"Father of
Puerto Rico"
Luis Muñoz Marín

Notable Boricuas

Cacique Agüeybaná, Luis Muñoz Rivera, Luis Muñoz Marín, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, Dr. Ricardo Alegría, José Celso Barbosa, Mariana Bracetti, Dr. Emeterio Betances, Julia de Burgos, Pablo Casals, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, José de Diego, José Feliciano, Luis A. Ferré, José Ferrer, Doña Felisa Rincón de Gautier, Commodore Diégo E. Hernández, Rafael Hernández (El Jibarito), Raúl Julía, Luis Palés Matos, Concha Meléndez, Rita Moreno, Adm. Horacio Rivero, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Tito  Puente, José Campeche, Eugenio María de Hostos, Luis Lloréns Torres, Francisco Oller, Lola Rodríguez de Tió and many more.