Facts About Puerto Rico
As a state, Puerto Rico would have
the 25th highest population of any state and would send six or
seven Congressmen to Washington as well as two Senators.
The House is limited to 435 Members,
so a state of Puerto Rico would cost at least six states one Congressman
Fully 90% of Puerto Rico's high school graduates do not speak
As a state, Puerto Rico could make Spanish its only official
language (as it did in 1990) and require the rest of the United
States to adapt to them. That could cost $2-3 billion each year
in language translation costs alone based on the costs Quebec
imposes on Canada.
Puerto Rico's per capita income of $8,509 is less than one
third of the US average, and about one half that of Mississippi,
the poorest state.
The average monthly per capita income in Puerto Rico would
be $709 per month.
Social Security Disability payments are at least $790 per month.
Rank of a state of Puerto Rico as a state among states based
on population: 25th
Rank of Puerto Rico currently if included among states based
on persons receiving disability income: 16th
In Puerto Rico, 50% of families have incomes of less than $10,000.
In the United States, 67% of families have incomes of $25,000
Earned Income Credit: maximum benefit of $3,556 applies to
workers earning between $8,900 and $11,610.
Amount of expected income to the U.S. Treasury from individuals
in Puerto Rico because of the Earned Income Credit: $0.
Percentage of Puerto Ricans on the island who receive food
stamps in 1989: 43.5%
Amount of expected increase in welfare payments annually to
Puerto Rico as a state: $3 billion.
United States Murder Rate (1996): 7.4 per 100,000
New York City Murder Rate (1996): 12.0 per 100,000
Puerto Rico Murder Rate (1996): 25.0 per 100,000.
Rank of Puerto Rico if included among states based on 1996
murder rates: 6th.
Employment Patterns in Puerto Rico
The government sector in Puerto Rico generates approximately
380,000 jobs, or 33% of total employment.
Percentage of the economy of Puerto Rico from manufacturing:
Percentage of the economy of Puerto Rico from tourism: About
Total employment in Puerto Rico provided by 936 corporations:
Tax benefit a 936 corporation receives per employee per year:
Average employee salary in a 936 corporation per year: $22,000
A 1990 Congressional Budget Office study concluded that, under
statehood, Puerto Rico would suffer a permanent decrease in GNP
of ten to fifteen percent by the year 2000 accompanied by a direct
loss of between 50,000 and 100,000 private sector jobs.
The 1990 CBO study estimated that statehood would cost the
US government over $9 billion in additional federal spending during
the first four years of statehood, much of it to compensate for
the loss of jobs in the private sector.
Puerto Rico's operating budget: $6 billion.
Puerto Rico's national debt: $20 billion.
- "In June , a San Juan Star newspaper poll
showed Puerto Ricans are deeply divided over the issue, with
40.9 percent favoring statehood, 40.2 percent commonwealth and
7.6 percent independence."--Miami Herald, July 15, 1998
- In Canada, Quebec separatism arose over many years. In the
case of Puerto Rico, a strong current of separatist sentiment
exists before statehood has even been granted. Carlos M. Ayes,
a professor at The Center for Advanced Study located in San Juan
who was charged, but recently acquitted of taking part in a $7.1
million robbery of a Connecticut Wells Fargo Depot by Puerto
Rican nationalists, reminded readers of the New York Times
Magazine of February 18, 1990, that statehood will not necessarily
put an end to the independence movement: "Statehood will
mean war," he warns. "Violence is hard to stomach,
but George Washington killed thousands of British to gain recognition
for 13 colonies that claimed the right to be independent. If
the United States wants its very own Northern Ireland, let them
continue this farce."
- Four armed pro-independence Puerto Rican terrorists opened
fire on the House of Representatives on March 1, 1954. Four years
earlier, pro-independence terrorists attempted to kill President
Truman at Blair House.
- Puerto Rico is currently the leading source of domestic terrorism
in the United States. Just one group, the Fuerzas Armadas
de Liberacion Nacional (FALN), has been responsible for more
than 120 bombings in New York, Chicago, Puerto Rico and Washington,
D.C., since the mid-1970's. There are several other similar groups.
- Terrorist groups destroyed $50 million worth of National
Guard aircraft, and conducted a rocket attack on FBI offices
in San Juan.
- "The phone strike has been marred by scattered incidents
of violence, and police arrested five people accused of planting
homemade bombs Thursday at the headquarters of the Puerto Rico
Telephone Co."-- Miami Herald, July 10, 1998.
- "Colombia has displaced Southeast Asia as the top exporter
of heroin to the United States, with Miami and Puerto Rico as
its main points of entry, U.S. authorities told Congress on Wednesday"
-- Miami Herald, June 25, 1998
- "[U]p to 40 percent of illegal drugs smuggled from producers
in Latin America to consumers in the United States come through
Puerto Rico." -- Miami Herald, August 1, 1997
- "Violent drug gangs virtually control Puerto Rico's
prisons, deciding who gets everything from toothpaste to cocaine,
according to a scathing federal report recommending a U.S. government
takeover"-- Miami Herald, August 30, 1997
- "Most of the Cubans later try to join the huge flow
of Dominicans smuggled by boat each year to Puerto Rico to the
east. From San Juan, it's a no-passport flight to Florida, New
York or New Jersey."-- Miami Herald, March 28, 1998.
Sources: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing
Testimony on Puerto Rico Statehood, May 19, 1998; FBI Uniform
Crime Reports, September 28, 1997; Social Security Administration;
U.S. Census (1990 data); Commissioner of Official Languages Annual
Report (1997) [Canada]; New York Times.
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