When we consider the topic of states and what it means to be a state, most of us think of the standard fifty that we were educated on, back when we were bestowed upon the knowledge of primary colors and cursive characters. Much like a majority of people that get stuck in their ways, it is hard for some to branch off that base of knowledge; therefore the recognition of United States territories seems to fly under all of our radars.
Looking at polls from YouGov, it has been shown that forty-one percent percent of American citizens don’t even realize that individuals born in Puerto Rico are United States citizens. Even forty percent of Hispanics don’t believe this to be the way things are, while a solid eleven percent have no clue on how it is. Citizens of Puerto Rico have been considered natural born American citizens since 1917 and continue to have United States passports.
Stemming off of the lack of state and territory knowledge, we can see further repercussions of the lack of education. This is clearly shown in how Americans view Puerto Rico’s financial difficulties in the moment. Some would argue it isn’t our responsibility since Puerto Rico is merely a territory and some can’t even recognize it is part of the United States.
It is safe to say it is understandable why most Americans have yet to hear about the Puerto Rico debt crisis when most American’s don’t even know it is part of the country they live in. Once this become more public knowledge, it would be interesting to see how the public consensus would change on helping out our very own territory.