Census update shows deeper PR exodus
A Census Coverage Measurement issued in late June showed that the 2010 Census may have inflated Puerto Rico’s population by more than 160,000 people.
The update found that the 2010 Census had a “significant net overcount” of 160,300 people in Puerto Rico.
2010 Census numbers released last year showed that Puerto Rico’s population fell by 2.2 percent since 2000, shedding stark light on a demographic shift that represents a range of challenges for the island. Only one state, Michigan, registered a drop in population in the 2010 Census, dipping 0.6 percent.
Puerto Rico’s population was pegged at roughly 3.7 million in the 2010 count, down from the more than 3.8 million residents registered in the 2000 Census. It marked the first time the island population has declined between census counts.
The Census Coverage Measurement update would lower the island’s population to just over 3.5 million.
The population drop raises the prospect of less federal funding for Puerto Rico, increased pressure on the financially ailing public-pension system and a dramatically aging population with fewer financial resources.
People who left Puerto Rico for the states were better paid and better educated on average than those relocating to the island from the mainland, according to a study on the exodus of islanders over the past decade.
That scenario was outlined in the Migrant Profile 2000-2010 published in February by the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute, which included a raft of data confirming the “brain drain.”