Many people assume that Puerto Rico is either its own country, or that it's a U.S. state. Actually, both of these assumptions are incorrect. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the U.S., which means it is governed by the President of the United States, but also has its own elected governor who acts as second in command.
Anyone born in Puerto Rico is automatically a U.S. citizen, which means Puerto Ricans can vote in all U.S. elections. Unfortunately, because they're a U.S. territory rather than a state, they don't have a strong presence in congress or the electoral college, meaning their votes are often silenced.
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A lot of people assume that most Puerto Ricans don't speak English, but in fact English and Spanish are both official languages there. Another misconception is that most Puerto Ricans are of African heritage, but two thirds actually identify as white, and less than 20 percent are of African descent. Off the island, New York has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. but Florida also has many Puerto Rican residents due to its close proximity to the territory.
Lastly, many Americans are surprised to find that Puerto Rico is more industrial and urban than the picturesque tropical paradise they had in mind. Puerto Rico has plenty of malls, restaurants, and busy intersections filled with people. It's also likely to be the most competitive economy in the Caribbean.
Watch more Seeker:
What Life is Really Like in Puerto Rico
Read more about Puerto Rico:
Census.gov: Profile of the Puerto Rican Population in United States and Puerto Rico: 2008
Puerto Rico Lobbies Congress For Help In Solving Debt Crisis