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World > North America > Puerto Rico

   flag of Puerto Rico
   Puerto Rico

Introduction:
Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following 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.


Official name: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Capital: name: San Juan
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 66 07 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Government type: commonwealth
Population: 3,944,259 (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Spanish, English
Official Currency: US Dollar (USD)

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Currency code: USD
Area: total: 13,790 sq km
land: 8,870 sq km
water: 4,921 sq km
Climate: tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation


Map of Puerto Rico
map of Puerto Rico


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - US Dollar Exchange Rates



Facts at a Glance
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