Living in Puerto Rico

San Juan port

With the advent of remote working and the modern digital economy, more and more people are considering leaving their home country and working in a different location. If you are one of these people, then Puerto Rico might be an ideal place to consider living.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful Caribbean island with stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and friendly people. The cost of living in Puerto Rico is relatively low compared to other popular ex-pat destinations, making it an affordable and attractive place to live.

Whether you are looking for a place to raise a family or start your own business, Puerto Rico has a lot to offer. Keep reading to learn more about life in Puerto Rico, including the food, music, culture, and weather, as well as healthcare and education options. By the end of the article, you will have all the information you need to decide if living in Puerto Rico is right for you.

What is Life Like in Puerto Rico?

Many people love the lifestyle in Puerto Rico. The food is rich and flavorful, the music is upbeat and infectious, the culture is vibrant and welcoming, and the people are warm and friendly.

Over 5.5 million people currently live in Puerto Rico. Most of whom live in the big cities. It is estimated that 93% of the population lives in urban centers. The rural areas are parsley populated and offer an opportunity to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.

Whether living in a big city like San Juan or a small town on the coast, life in Puerto Rico is sure to be an exciting and rewarding experience.

If you are considering moving to Puerto Rico, it is crucial to consider the cost of living. Housing and living expenses can be fairly affordable, but healthcare and education costs may be higher than what you are used to.

Although Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, its culture is different and heavily influenced by Spanish and Caribbean cultures. The mix of cultures means that living in Puerto Rico is a unique experience with challenges and rewards.

However, Puerto Rico is a great way to experience the Caribbean lifestyle and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of this beautiful island.

A Mix of Cultures and Cuisines

Puerto Rico is a diverse and vibrant island that offers something for everyone. Whether living in the urban sprawl of San Juan or one of the many beautiful beaches, you will find plenty of exciting activities and opportunities in Puerto Rico.

The food in Puerto Rico is a mix of Spanish and Caribbean flavors, with dishes like mofongo, tostones, arroz con gandules, and many more.

There is abundant music, dance, art, festivals, and other cultural events throughout the year, so life in Puerto Rico is sure to be an exciting and enriching experience.

Although English is one of the official languages, most people in Puerto Rico speak Spanish, and you shouldn’t be surprised if someone you are talking to does not speak English.

There are many different ethnicities and nationalities in Puerto Rico. An estimated 76% of the population can trace their roots back to Spain, and another 12% are African American. The remaining 12% come from all over and include Native Americans, Hawaiians, Europeans, Chinese, Lebanese, and Carribeans.

Puerto Rico and the United States

If you plan to move to Puerto Rico, you must understand the connection between the island and the United States.

While Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, living in Puerto Rico is very different from living on the mainland.

ponce Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans are US citizens and have the right to live and work anywhere in the United States. Puerto Ricans cannot vote in presidential elections and have no representation in the Senate or the House of Representatives.

In a recent referendum, most Puerto Ricans voted to move toward US Statehood. This process has stalled due to political opposition and the ongoing debt crisis in Puerto Rico.

If you are an American and move to Puerto Rico, you can avoid US state taxes, but you will need to pay federal income taxes on money earned in the US.

Healthcare in Puerto Rico

Although living in Puerto Rico can be affordable, healthcare and medical services can be relatively high.

The high cost of healthcare is because around half of the population living in Puerto Rico are enrolled in Medicare, which is a federal healthcare program for senior citizens. However, Puerto Rico does not receive funding proportionally as US states. As a result, the health care system is not quite as high quality as the rest of the United States.

However, living in Puerto Rico doesn’t mean that you have to pay more for healthcare. There are plenty of affordable options, such as clinics and insurance plans offered by the government.

It would be best if you also considered traveling to the mainland United States for specialized medical services, as these can be more affordable there.

Natural disasters have also set back the Puerto Rican healthcare system. A massive hurricane hit the island in 2017, and the medical infrastructure is still recovering.

Education in Puerto Rico

Out of the population living in Puerto Rico, over 80% are high school graduates, and more than 30% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

There are many excellent schools and universities in Puerto Rico, such as the University of Puerto Rico, the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, and the International College.

Suppose you are planning to move with your children. In that case, many international schools in Puerto Rico offer an English-based curriculum, similar to what you find in the mainland United States.

Puerto Rican culture places a high value on education, so you can rest assured that the quality of education available on this beautiful island matches the quality of its beaches.

Cost of Living inside Puerto Rico

Compared to other parts of the United States, living in Puerto Rico can be affordable. The cost of living index is 77.1, compared to 100 in the US.

For example, living in the most populated area of Puerto Rico, San Juan is about 30% cheaper than living in Miami and about 20% cheaper than living in New York City.

Several factors contribute to the low cost of living. For one, living on an island makes transportation costs relatively low – everything is close by since you don’t need to travel far between states.

Additionally, Puerto Rico has a strong tourism industry, so many businesses offer discounts for tourists and residents.

Housing and Utilities in Puerto Rico

Real estate prices are slightly higher in Puerto Rico than living on the mainland, but many options still exist to fit any budget.

In the more popular and developed areas, such as San Juan, you can expect to pay between $100,000 to $1,000,000 for a single-family home.

Outside of large cities, living in Puerto Rico can be pretty affordable. You can easily find homes and apartments for rent that cost less than $1,000 per month.

If you are interested in living off-the-grid, there are also options for buying and living on a farm or in a remote area.

Utilities like electricity and water are also relatively affordable in Puerto Rico. Average utilities cost between $100 and $150 per month, depending on your living situation.

Weather in Puerto Rico 

The weather is one of the most appealing parts of potentially moving to Puerto Rico. With an average temperature of around 82 degrees year-round, living in Puerto Rico can be a great respite from cold winters. Moreover, living directly on the coast means enjoying beautiful, sunny beaches any time of year.

San Juan harbor

But living on an island with unpredictable weather can be challenging, and specific hazards come along with living in Puerto Rico.

For example, living in Puerto Rico means living with the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms. While these events are rare, they can cause significant damage if they occur.

It is also important to note that living in Puerto Rico means living with the threat of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.


These are some commonly asked questions about living in Puerto Rico.

What does it cost to live in Puerto Rico vs. Texas?

The cost of living in Puerto Rico is generally lower than in Texas. Housing, food, and other living expenses are more affordable in Puerto Rico while living in Texas can be more expensive.

Can you live on $1000 a month?

You can live on $1000 or less per month in Puerto Rico but don’t expect to be living lavishly. Housing options under this budget will likely be more limited, and you may need to make some sacrifices to live comfortably.

What is the average rent in? 

The average rent in Puerto Rico depends on the specific area and living situation. In larger cities like San Juan, you can expect to pay around $1,000 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment. In more remote areas and smaller towns, you can find housing options that cost less than $500 per month.

Wrap Up

Overall, living in Puerto Rico can be an affordable and enriching experience that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re looking for sunny beaches, vibrant culture, or a more affordable cost of living, Puerto Rico has something for everyone. So if you’re considering living in Puerto Rico, don’t hesitate – start planning your move today!