Puerto Rico is an island located between the Caribbean
Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican
Republic. It is a commonwealth of the United States, and
its residents are U.S. citizens.
Puerto Rico has a landmass of 8,959 square kilometers.
The estimated population is 3,263,584, with a rural
population of 136,992 (USDA-ERS, 2021). According to 2021
data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 98.7% of the population
is Hispanic or Latino, 60.0% of the total population are
White, 11.3% are African American, 0.2% are Asian, and
0.2% are American Indian and Alaska Native.
The ERS reports, based on 2020 ACS data, that the poverty
rate in rural Puerto Rico is 60.0%, compared with 47.7%
in urban areas of the island. 24.1% of the rural
population has not completed high school, while 21.5% of
the urban population lacks a high school diploma
according to 2017-2021 ACS data reported by ERS. The
unemployment rate in rural areas is 10.4% compared to an
urban rate of 8.1% (USDA-ERS, 2021).
Puerto Rico faces both the health concerns of developing
nations in treating malnutrition and infectious diseases,
as well as the chronic health problems faced by developed
nations, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
For additional resources and information, see Atlantic Territory and
Health in the Americas: Puerto Rico (PAHO);
U.S. Census Bureau;
USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets