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Puerto Rico Geography Profile 2017

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LocationCaribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic
Geographic coordinates18 15 N, 66 30 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 9,104 sq km
land: 8,959 sq km
water: 145 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline501 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrainmostly mountains with coastal plain in north; precipitous mountains to the sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 261 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Cerro de Punta 1,338 m
Natural resourcessome copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil
Land useagricultural land: 22%
arable land 6.6%; permanent crops 5.6%; permanent pasture 9.8%
forest: 63.2%
other: 14.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land220 sq km (2012)
Population distributionpopulation clusters tend to be found along the coast, the largest of these is found in and around San Juan; an exception to this is a sizeable population located in the interior of the island immediately south of the capital around Caguas; most of the interior, particularly in the western half of the island, is dominated by the Cordillera Central mountains, where population density is light
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts; hurricanes
Environment - current issuessoil erosion; occasional drought causing water shortages
Geography - noteimportant location along the Mona Passage - a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal; San Juan is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean; many small rivers and high central mountains ensure land is well watered; south coast relatively dry; fertile coastal plain belt in north

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017