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Census shows 96% of Puerto Rico towns reflect population drop

The latest U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Population Estimates show a decline in 96% of Puerto Rico’s towns, with only Rincón, Naranjito and Barranquitas experiencing slight population increases ranging from 0.1% to 1.6% from April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2023.

According to the data presented by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, there were significant population decreases in seven municipalities: Guánica (-10%), Loíza (-5.9%), Guayanilla (-5.5%), Ponce (-5.3%), Yauco (-5.2%), Guayama (-5%) and Yabucoa (-5%).

Five of these are in the southern region, while Loíza and Yabucoa are in the northeastern and eastern regions, respectively.

Puerto Rico’s total population is estimated to have decreased by 2.4%, or about 80,000 fewer residents, since April 2020, the institute reported.

The municipalities with the smallest declines in population are Aibonito (-0.1%), Isabela (-0.3%), Moca (-0.4%), Dorado (-0.5%), Corozal (-0.6%), Camuy (-0.6%), and Adjuntas (-0.7%).

The general trend in population decline in the municipalities began in 2005, said Alberto L. Velázquez-Estrada, senior manager of Statistical Projects of the Institute. “The reduction phenomenon,” he said, is pronounced in various municipalities where the rate has reached “5% or more in just three years of this decade, according to new estimates.”

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

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