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Puerto Rico has a similar type of government to the US. It has its own elected Senate and House of Representatives. A governor heads this government. Since 1951, Puerto Rico has been part of the Commonwealth of the United States with self-government over all its internal affairs. It is under the influence of the United States in terms of defence and foreign policy. Residents of the island are American citizens, but do not have the right to vote. Puerto Rico is represented in the United States Congress, but only as an observer. For the current political situation see History section.


Puerto Rico's economy has evolved from a colonial agrarian economy to one in which industry and services have become the mainstays. GDP per capita is $39,400 (2017). Lower than incomes in the United States or Europe, but much higher than those of the surrounding islands.

The pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries are the country's main sources of income. Among agricultural products, the most notable are rum and cigars, which are still traditionally made on the island.

The service sector as a whole accounts for more than 50% of the Gross National Product. The financial sector and tourism are becoming increasingly important.


Peffer, R / Puerto Rico

Levy,P / Puerto Rico,

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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