The new U.S. Census figures show Puerto Rico’s population dropped by 2.2% due in great part to 489,509 individuals leaving the island to the U.S. There also was a modest drop in birth rates on the island.
Puerto Rico and the state of Michigan were the only two U.S. jurisdictions whose population dropped and interestingly both have higher than average unemployment rates. Puerto Rico’s unemployment is at 16%. In addition, less people from the U.S. are returning to Puerto Rico or emigrating to the island from other countries.
Puerto Rican officials lay blame on the economic hardships on the island as the leading cause of emigration to the U.S. and the draw to higher wages in the U.S.