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Puerto Rico

Country of Puerto Rico Flag

Capital: San Juan

Population: 2,933,408

Brief History of Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico was inhabited by the Native American Taino people for hundreds of years when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493. Columbus claimed the island for Spain calling it San Juan Bautista after St. John the Baptist. Conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon established Caparra as the first settlement on the island. He would later become the first governor of the colony. Over the years the local Taino tribes people were nearly wiped out by disease.

After the Spanish-American War in 1898, Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States. In 1917 Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship.

Country of Puerto Rico Map

The Geography of Puerto Rico

Total Size: 13,790 square km

Size Comparison: slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island

Geographical Coordinates: 18 15 N, 66 30 W

World Region or Continent: Central America

General Terrain: mostly mountains with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas

Geographical Low Point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point: Cerro de Punta 1,339 m

Climate: tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation

Major cities: SAN JUAN (capital) 2.73 million (2009), Bayamon, Carolina

The People of Puerto Rico

Type of Government: commonwealth

Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

Independence: none (territory of the US with commonwealth status)

National Holiday: US Independence Day, 4 July (1776); Puerto Rico Constitution Day, 25 July (1952)

Nationality: Puerto Rican(s) (US citizens)

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant and other 15%

National Symbol: Puerto Rican spindalis (bird); coqui (frog)

National Anthem or Song: La Borinquena (The Puerto Rican)

Economy of Puerto Rico

Major Industries: pharmaceuticals, electronics, apparel, food products, tourism

Agricultural Products: sugarcane, coffee, pineapples, plantains, bananas; livestock products, chickens

Natural Resources: some copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil

Major Exports: chemicals, electronics, apparel, canned tuna, rum, beverage concentrates, medical equipment

Major Imports: chemicals, machinery and equipment, clothing, food, fish, petroleum products

Currency: US dollar (USD)

National GDP: $64,840,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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