Monday, February 16, 2009

The Inglehart Values Map

According to the CIA World Factbook, an estimated 85% of Puerto Ricans are Catholic and some 15% are in the "Protestant or other" category. Puerto Ricans will commonly refer to God in many instances. For example, if you've made an appointment with someone and say: "nos veremos la semana que viene" (translation: "we'll see each other next week"), a common response will be: "si Dios quiere" (translation: "God willing"). This was something which I was not accustomed to, since I was raised in New York City, in secular surroundings.

When I came across the Inglehart Values Map, and found Puerto Rico all the way on bottom of the fourth quadrant (obtaining a little over 1 on self-expression and below -2.0 on traditional values), I found some aspects to be true. Based on this values map, Puerto Rican society has a very traditional outlook. In most cases, this is true as most Puerto Ricans have high levels of national pride, are family-oriented, religious, and against abortion. However, the divorce rate in Puerto Rico is quite high as extra-marital affairs are quite common.

As for the self expression value, which is more characteristic of post-industrialization societies, people place a greater emphasis on things like economic and political decision making, as well as quality of life. Puerto Rico is the only Latin American country scoring above 1 on the self expression spectrum. Although politics is certainly something which Puerto Ricans are extremely passionate about, I don't think most place a huge significance on other "self-expression" values such as environmental protection and tolerance for diversity. I certainly can't imagine Puerto Rico legalizing same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, recycling is still not taking place on a grand scale either.

(Image obtained from

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