Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. It comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands.
In 2001 there were 60,000 telephones, 66,000 televisions, and 105,000 radios in use on the island. The Virgin Islands had 12 radio stations (4 AM, 8 FM) and 2 television stations in 1997.
The public pre-higher education system remains closely modeled on the American preprimary (when applicable), primary, middle, and higher secondary sequence. Higher education also follows the American model with undergraduate associate (two years of study) and bachelor's degrees of various sorts (awarded usually upon the student's successful completion of four years of prescribed study). Graduate research degrees include the M.A. and (more rarely) the Ph.D.
The territorial Department of Health provides hospital and medical services, public health services, and veterinary medicine. The college of the Virgin Islands is the territory's first institution of higher education.
The mainstays of the Puerto Rican economy are tourism and manufacturing industry, the major products being chemicals, food products, electrical goods, and machinery. Chemicals, metals, and foodstuffs are the main exports, almost all to the USA. Agriculture is of declining importance and mineral resources are scanty.
Both Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto Rico, but Spanish is without a doubt the dominant language, as the majority of the people in Puerto Rico are not proficient in English. Fewer than 20 percent of Puerto Ricans speak English fluently, according to the 1990 U.S. Census.
As a territory of the United States, all federal laws apply in Puerto Rico. The 3.7 million people of the territory are represented in the federal government by a sole Resident Commissioner in the U.S. House of Representatives who can vote in committees but not in the full House. The U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico do not have representation in the U.S. Senate and cannot vote for President.
The U.S. occupation brought Protestant missions to a predominantly Catholic society. An estimated 30 percent of the population is now Protestant. All major denominations are represented, and there is a synagogue in San Juan but no mosque.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated, organized territory of the US with commonwealth status. Policy relations between Puerto Rico and the US is conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President.
Puerto Rico’s population is ethnically mixed because of centuries of immigration and cultural assimilation. There is little overt racial discrimination, although people of Spanish and other European ancestry are still esteemed among most elite members of society. Other ethnic groups that helped to form the current population of Puerto Rico are Chinese, Italians, Corsicans, Lebanese, Germans, Scottish, Irish, American and African.
Puerto Rico is a mountainous, tropical island directly in the path of the trade winds. These conditions account for its tropical rain forest and tropical wet and dry climates. Except at night, in the highest areas, the air is always warm.