Puerto Rico is an island located in the north eastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico also includes some surrounding islands including Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. Puerto Rico has a population of approximately 3,725,789 and a land area of 9,104 km2 (3,515 sq mi.). The capital city of Puerto Rico is San Juan and half of the population of Puerto Rico live and work in this city.
Interesting Facts about Puerto Rico
- The official name of Puerto Rico is the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
- Puerto Rico was a Spanish territory from 1492 until 1898. It was ceded to the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War.
- Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. This means that the people are citizens of the United States of America, although they are not entitled to vote in U.S presidential elections.
- Puerto Rico elects its own Governor to oversee government procedures in Puerto Rico. Much of the Puerto Rican legislature is decided by the U.S Congress.
The official languages spoken in Puerto Rico are English and Spanish. The citizens primarily speak Spanish with only one out of every ten Puerto Rican speaking English fluently.
- Puerto Rico means “Rich Port” in Spanish. However the islands of Puerto Rico have been known by many names such as Borinquen from the indigenous language which means “Land of the Valiant Lord”, la isla del encanto in Spanish which means “the island of enchantment” and when Discovered by Christopher Columbus San Juan Bautista. The Island was eventually referred to as Puerto Rico and the main shipping port became known as San Juan.
- The main island of Puerto Rico measures just 180 km (110 mi) from east to west and its maximum width from north to south is 65km (40 mi).
- The country is very mountainous with its highest elevation being Cerro de Punta at 1,339 m (4,393 f).
- Puerto Rico has 17 manmade lakes and over 50 rivers.
- The largest and deepest trench in the Atlantic Ocean, The Puerto Rico Trench, is located approximately 115km (71 mi) off the north coast of Puerto Rico. It is estimated to be 8.4 km (5.2 mi) deep at Milwaukee Deep, which is its deepest point.
- Puerto Rico has a tropical climate and temperatures do not vary greatly during the year. The average temperature in Puerto Rico is 28 °C (82.4 °F).
- Puerto Rico is home to 239 plants, 16 birds and 39 amphibians/reptiles that are unique to the country.
- The main religion of the country is Roman Catholic with a large number of Jehovah’s Witnesses, with a ratio of 1 Jehovah’s Witness for every 150 residents. 0.15% of the population is Muslim.
- The most popular sport in the country is baseball and the Puerto Rico Baseball League is the professional baseball league. Other popular sports include boxing, basketball and volleyball. Puerto Rico also has a professional soccer team.
- Puerto Rico has won six medals in the Olympics, one silver and 5 bronze.