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Census: 50% or more of residents in 36 P.R. towns live in poverty

During the 2014-2018 period, 50% or more of the population in 36 of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities lived in poverty.

Of those 36 towns, in six of them — Maricao, Guánica, Adjuntas, Lajas, Jayuya and Comerío — the level of poverty reached between 60% to 64%, according to the latest statistics revealed in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Puerto Rico Community Survey.

The report makes reference to data collected over a five-year period, from 2014 to 2018. The results of the survey, released by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, also showed that 44.5% of Puerto Rico’s total population and 40.9% in families live in poverty.

When compared to the previous five-year period (2009-2013), the recent numbers show that median household income increased in 28 municipalities, six of them — Rincón, Morovis, Salinas, Lares, Aibonito, Gurabo, Juana Díaz — with statistically significant difference.

On the other hand, the median household income decreased in 50 municipalities, the report showed.

“The municipalities of Jayuya, Cidra and Camuy were the ones that registered the greatest decrease, all three with statistically significant differences,” the survey revealed.

In Puerto Rico the median household income declined significantly by 4.9%, translating to about $1,047 annually.

“The poverty level of continues to be high throughout Puerto Rico, in percentage terms. The geographical distribution indicates that with the exception of Loíza, Juncos and Yabucoa in the eastern region, the highest percentages are concentrated in central, southern and western regions of Puerto Rico,” said Alberto L. Velázquez-Estrada, the Institute’s statistical project manager.

“On the other hand, most of the municipalities with the lowest percentages of poverty were around the metropolitan area, with the exception of San Juan and Cataño,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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