Puerto Rico Statehood Pros and Cons List

For years, Puerto Rico has existed as a territory of the United States, but it has never become an official state. The debate as to whether Puerto Rico should become a state has heated up recently, with strong opinions on both sides of the divide. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach and the time has come for a more thorough examination.

List of Pros of Puerto Rico Statehood

1. Better Life For Puerto Ricans.
Many Puerto Rican citizens are struggling to make their way above the poverty line. Almost half of the nation is currently below the poverty line and American statehood could be the answer to many of the current problems that the nation is facing. The health benefits and job opportunities are numerous and are certainly worth exploring from a Puerto Rican standpoint.

2. Political Control Would Shift.
With a population of at least four million people, the induction of Puerto Rico into American statehood would lead to a major shift in political policies. Their population would entitle them to at least seven representatives at the House and Puerto Rico would also have nine electoral votes in each American presidential election.

3. Increased Tax and Trade Revenue.
It is no secret that the United States has struggled with debt and that the nation’s credit score was lowered. Allowing Puerto Rico to become a state would lead to a significant increase in tax revenue each year. The economy of the United States would also improve, thanks to a more open trade market.

List of Cons of Puerto Rico Statehood

1. Loss Of Traditional Culture.
There are many Puerto Ricans who believe that becoming the 51st state would severely damage their cultural heritage. Puerto Rico has built a rich culture since its inception and the older generation of citizens fears America’s influence on the more youthful crowd. There is also a fear that American English will become the predominant language and further erode their unique culture.

2. Tourism Industry Will Be Damaged.
One of Puerto Rico’s most important revenue streams is derived from their tourism industry. It is the largest revenue stream available to the country and if Puerto Rico were to become a state, many fear that the enjoyment of visiting the country would cease to exist. As a traditional part of America, Puerto Rico would lose some of its exotic appeal.

3. Crime Rate Is Boosted.
Because of Puerto Rico’s extremely high rate of crime, there are many American observers who want no part of the nation as a 51st state. By integrating Puerto Rico, America would essentially inherit all of their crime numbers, allowing their own crime rate to suffer in the process. This is a major reason why American politicians do not want Puerto Rico as a state.