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Puerto Rico Country Guide

Explore Puerto Rico in North America

Puerto Rico with the capital city San Juan is located in North America (Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 9,105 square kilometres (slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island) with 3,916,632 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The topography includes mostly mountains with coastal plain belt in north with mountains precipitous to sea on west coast and sandy beaches along most coastal areas. The average density of population is approximately 430 per km². The notable climate conditions in Puerto Rico can be described as tropical marine, mild with little seasonal temperature variation. Possible natural disasters include periodic droughts or hurricanes.

To reach someone in Puerto Rico dial +1-787 and +1-93 prior to a number. There are 870,100 installed telephones. And there are 2,716,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 850, 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".pr". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 120V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of Puerto Rico

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; the white star symbolizes Puerto Rico; the three sides of the triangle signify the executive, legislative and judicial parts of the government; blue stands for the sky and the coastal waters; red symbolizes the blood shed by warriors, while white represents liberty, victory, and peace
note: design initially influenced by the US flag, but similar to the Cuban flag, with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed.

Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Christopher COLUMBUS'' second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917. Popularly-elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998, voters chose not to alter the existing political status with the US, but the results of a 2012 vote left open the possibility of American statehood.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: North America
Capital: San Juan
Size 9,104 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 3,515 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island
Population 3,916,632
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .pr
Telephone Country Prefix +1-787 and +1-93
Mobile Phone Connections 2,716,000
Landline Phone Connections 870,100

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 13,790 (sq km) 163

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 3,674,209 129
Population growth rate -0.47 (%) 223
Birth rate 11.28 (births/1,000 population) 172
Death rate 8.23 (deaths/1,000 population) 90
Net migration rate -7.73 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 201
Maternal mortality rate 20.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 138
Infant mortality rate 8.00 (deaths/1,000 live births) 158
Life expectancy at birth 79.07 (years) 45
Total fertility rate 1.64 (children born/woman) 177
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 7,397 110
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 29.9 (%) 25


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 64,840,000,000 87
GDP - real growth rate -5.80 (%) 217
GDP - per capita (PPP) 16,300 82
Labor force 1,286,000 137
Unemployment rate 16.00 (%) 151
Taxes and other revenues 7.2 (% of GDP) 214
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -3.10 (% of GDP) 114
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.20 (%) 18
Exports 58,910,000,000 56
Imports 46,580,000,000 57
Debt - external 56,820,000,000 57


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 20,710,000,000 (kWh) 71
Electricity - consumption 19,260,000,000 (kWh) 70
Electricity - installed generating capacity 5515000 (kW) 73
Electricity - from fossil fuels 97.2 (% of total installed capacity) 63
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 2.8 (% of total installed capacity) 132
Crude oil - imports 40,000 (bbl/day) 61
Refined petroleum products - production 37,450 (bbl/day) 88
Refined petroleum products - consumption 151,600 (bbl/day) 66
Refined petroleum products - exports 8,440 (bbl/day) 90
Refined petroleum products - imports 149,100 (bbl/day) 37
Natural gas - consumption 768,900,000 (cu m) 94
Natural gas - imports 768,900,000 (cu m) 64
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 30,860,000 (Mt) 76


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 826,100 87
Telephones - mobile cellular 3,108,000 125
Internet hosts 469 185
Internet users 1,000,000 98


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 29 119
Roadways 26,670 (km) 100

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

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