Puerto Rico (/ / or / /, Spanish pronunciation: [pʷeɾto ˈriko]), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de 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.
Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port") comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. The main island of Puerto Rico is the smallest by land area of the Greater Antilles. It ranks third in population among that group of four islands, which include Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), and Jamaica. Due to its location, Puerto Rico enjoys a tropical climate and is subject to the Atlantic hurricane season. Official languages of the island are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language.
Territories of the United States are a type of political division that is directly overseen by the United States federal government, in contrast to the states, which share sovereignty with the federal government. The territories were created to govern newly acquired land while the borders of the United States were still evolving; many of the boundaries of territories changed over time, when territories were subdivided or shifted, as when a portion of a territory was admitted as a state. Territories can be classified by whether they are incorporated (part of the United States proper) and whether they have an organized government (through an Organic Act passed by the U.S. Congress).
Many organized incorporated territories of the United States existed from 1789 to 1959 (the first being the Northwest and the Southwest Territory, the last being the Alaska Territory and the Hawaii Territory), through which 31 territories applied for and achieved statehood. In the process of organizing and promoting territories to statehood, some areas of a territory demographically lacking sufficient development and population densities were temporarily orphaned from parts of a larger territory at the time a vote was taken petitioning Congress for statehood rights. For example, when a portion of the Missouri Territory became the state of Missouri, the remaining portion of the territory, consisting of the present states of Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas, most of Kansas, Wyoming, and Montana, and parts of Colorado and Minnesota, effectively became an unorganized territory.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Puerto Rico:
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States of America located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. The commonwealth comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands and keys, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. The main island of Puerto Rico is the least extensive but the third most populous of the four Greater Antilles: Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands.