Interesting Puerto Rico Facts
Interesting Puerto Rico Facts

22 Interesting Puerto Rico Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published May 21, 2022
  • Puerto Ricans have been United States citizens since 1917. They can move freely between the island and the U.S. mainland. However, American citizens of Puerto Rico don't vote in U.S. presidential elections, and they don't pay federal income tax.[2]
  • Puerto Rico is Spanish for "rich port," so named for the large amounts of gold Spanish settlers found on the island.[2]
  • Puerto Rico is about the size of Connecticut.[2]
  • Puerto Rico has the third-highest population density in the United States, after Washington, DC, and New Jersey.[2]
  • Puerto Rico is not a country. It's a commonwealth that is governed by the United States, which doesn't make it a sovereign state.[4]
  • The only native mammals still living in Puerto Rico are bats.[4]
  • Puerto Rico Bats Fact
    Bats are the only indigenous mammal remaining on Puerto Rico

  • After the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United States, according to the Treaty of Paris (1898). Additionally, the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 made Puerto Rico officially a U.S. territory.[2]
  • American citizens don't need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.[2]
  • Puerto Rico is considered the oldest colony in the world.[3]
  • Puerto Rico is the largest producer of rum in the world. Over 86% of the rum sold in the United States comes from Puerto Rico.[4]
  • Coqui frogs can be found on several islands in the Caribbean, but only the ones in Puerto Rico can sing. The frog is only an inch long, and it makes a high-pitched sound: "ko-kee, ko-kee."[2]
  • Coqui Puerto Rico Facts
    The Coquí gets its name from the unique nighttime calling sound (ko-kee) made by the male of the species

  • The bat sounds in Batman Forever were recorded in Camuy River Caverns National Park. This is one of the largest cave systems in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.[5]
  • Christopher Columbus "discovered" Puerto Rico in 1493, one year after he landed in the Americas. He named it San Juan Baptiste, after John the Baptist.[4]
  • Many of the words that Puerto Ricans use for food, names, and household items derive from the Taino Indians, who lived in Puerto Rico before Christopher Columbus arrived.[4]
  • Miss Puerto Rico has won the Miss Universe pageant 5 times. Even though Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, it competes as an individual nation.[1]
  • Puerto Rico's official name is Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, which means "Free Commonwealth of Puerto Rico."[4]
  • Famous Puerto Ricans include Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Benicio del Toro, Rito Moreno, and Roberto Clemente.[2]
  • Taino Indians Puerto Rico Facts
    Recent DNA evidence shows that most Puerto Ricans are a blend of Taino, Spanish, and African
  • The Taino Indians lived on Puerto Rico before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493. They called the island "Borinquen."[2]
  • Puerto Rico has one of the largest pharmaceutical presences in the world. It is home to 12 of the world's 20 top-grossing companies, including Pfizer, Merck, and Novartis.[6]
  • Puerto Rico's currency is the dollar, but they often call it the "peso" or "dolar."[2]
  • The Plaza Las Americas in Puerto Rico is one of the most profitable malls per square foot in the world.[2]
  • Puerto Rico is home to the world's largest living turtle, the leatherback sea turtle.[2]
  • Amazing Puerto Rico Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Puerto Rico Infographics

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