Top 10 Facts about Puerto Rico

On the eve of the Republican primary in Puerto Rico, the Hispanic Leadership Network released its “Top 10 Facts about Puerto Rico and its U.S. Citizens.”  Below are some interesting facts about La Isla del Encanto and its American electorate.

  • Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory with Commonwealth status whose residents are U.S. citizens by birth since 1917 (CIA World Factbook, 2012).
  • While its residents are U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans cannot vote in the U.S. general presidential elections because Puerto Rico is not a state (U.S. Constitution).
  • Currently, more than 10,000 active duty military personnel from Puerto Rico serve across the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration).
  • Since 1917, more than 200,000 American citizens from Puerto Rico have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving in every conflict since World War I (Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration).
  • Puerto Rico hosts primaries for both the Democratic and Republican parties; there are 23 delegates available in this year’s GOP primary (CNN Election Center, 2012).
  • Puerto Rico’s total population is 3,998,905 (CIA World Factbook, 2012).
  • The unemployment rate in Puerto Rico is 15.1% (U.S. Department of Labor, 2012).
  • More than half – 51.6% – of Puerto Ricans have private insurance coverage (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • More than 20% of Puerto Ricans have a bachelor’s degree, whereas only 16% of Puerto Ricans residing in the mainland have a bachelor’s degree (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • Florida is gaining a net 7,300 Puerto Ricans a year, far more than any other U.S. state (U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2011).