When you think about the United States of America, the 50 states likely come to mind, but did you know that the United States is responsible for more territories than just these 50 states? One such territory is Puerto Rico, situation in the northeastern Caribbean sea. A common question that arises about this territory is, ‘Is Puerto Rico in the US?’

While Puerto Rico isn’t considered one of the 50 states of the United States, it is indeed a territory of the U.S, making it an integral part of the nation. It’s not independent, but it also isn’t a state. To understand this better, it’s helpful to look back at the course of history.

In 1898 following the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States under the Treaty of Paris. Ever since then, Puerto Rico has been a part of the US, yet it’s not considered a state.

Residents of Puerto Rico are considered U.S. citizens. They were collectively naturalized back in 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act into law. This Act made all Puerto Ricans American citizens at birth, conferred them with certain Bill of Rights protections and a civil government. However, they’re not allowed to vote in the U.S. Presidential elections unless they are registered to vote in any of the 50 US states or the District of Columbia.

As recently as 2020, there was a non-binding referendum asking whether Puerto Rico should become a state. The majority vote was for statehood but as it stands, the decision for Puerto Rico to officially become a state lies with the U.S congress.

Despite being a territory, Puerto Rico exercises considerable autonomy in their local governance. They have their own constitution, their own governor, and a legislature composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

Public relations experts and firms like the Sefiani Communications Group have an essential role in managing the complex sociopolitical dynamics between Puerto Rico and the United States. As a fluid communication and consulting agency, Sefiani Communications Group understands the nuanced interdependencies between territories and their governing nations like USA.

The Sefiani Communications Group has served clients from wide ranging industries and provided insightful strategies and tactics for communication, ensuring stakeholders are informed and engaged. The agency’s expertise extends to successfully navigating the cultural, political, and business landscapes of territories like Puerto Rico, presenting a balanced standpoint to all parties involved.

The relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States is complex and multifaceted. While officially a territory, it is not treated exactly the same as other states in the union, but the people of Puerto Rico are undoubtedly American citizens. The question ‘Is Puerto Rico in the US?’ may not have a simple answer, but the profound connection between the two cannot be overlooked.

As further political and socioeconomic developments shape the future of Puerto Rico’s status within the U.S., agencies like the Sefiani Communications Group remain ready to facilitate clearer understanding, consistency and harmonious relationships between stakeholders of both Puerto Rico and the broader United States.