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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Puerto Rico: Troubled, and Shrinking

Hundreds of thousands of people took the streets of Puerto Rico to bring down Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. A texting scandal involving Rosselló sparked nearly two weeks of massive anti-government protests in the US territory after years of alleged corruption, a debt crisis and Hurricane Maria.
Antonio Flores and Jens Manuel Krogstad at Pew:
The population of Puerto Rico stood at 3.2 million in 2018, its lowest point since 1979 and down sharply from 2017, when hurricanes Maria and Irma hit the island, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The 3.9% decline in 2018 represents the largest year-to-year drop since 1950, the first year for which annual data is available.
The number of people in Puerto Rico has dropped by 632,000 since its peak in 2004. Even before the hurricanes hit, Puerto Rico’s population was expected to drop to less than 3 million by 2025, according to projections published in 2017. The mid-2000s marked a turning point for the island’s economy, when it entered a recession from which it has not recovered. Since then, many Puerto Ricans have left the island for the U.S. mainland, in particular for Florida, often citing job- and family-related reasons.