Before the 1950s, the Puerto Rican economy was typical for a Caribbean island, relying heavily on the plantation system. Agriculture was the primary source of income, and sugar production was particularly vital. From about 1950, largely due to government involvement in the island's economy, the industry and service sectors experienced exponential growth and quickly replaced agriculture as the foundation of the economy. As of 1999, agriculture provided only 1 percent of the island's GDP
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Note: Data are estimates.|
|SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations , 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th editions for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 data; CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online] for 2000 data.|
and provided jobs for only 3 percent of the island's work-force . Foreign investment incentives offered by the U.S. federal government have attracted much foreign capital, and by 1999, the industry sector produced 45 percent, and the service sector 54 percent, of total GDP. The island depends heavily on trade, commerce, and tourism, the latter of which is the most rapidly growing sector of the Puerto Rican economy currently.