Originally a Spanish colony, Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States during the Spanish-American War of 1898, putting an end to centuries of Spanish rule. Today, Puerto Rico remains a United States territory, despite a 2012 non-binding referendum which proved that over two thirds of the voters favored statehood. Due to the tropical climate and year-round warm weather and the varied landscape, tourism is one of the most important sources of income in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Ricans do not pay United States income tax, and the island receives federal funds. Despite this, the Puerto Rican economy is struggling a bit due to the low incomes and high unemployment rate, which has been hovering in the double digits for over a decade now. In addition, the real gross domestic product in Puerto Rico is in the red and shows no real signs of recovery. Its trade balance, however, has been on the rise over the past decade, reflecting the positive development of export and import . One of Puerto Rico's most famous exports is Bacardi rum, which is an important pillar of Puerto Rican economy, along with tourism.