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Population down in most Puerto Rico municipalities

More than 110,000 people have left the island in a three-year period, U.S. Census figures show. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) More than 110,000 people have left the island in a three-year period, U.S. Census figures show. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday the latest population estimates for the municipalities of Puerto Rico, which showed, among other findings, that from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 the population declined in 68 of the 78 towns.

The only municipalities that experienced an increase in population during that period were: Gurabo — which experienced a 3.6 percent jump in the number of residents — Toa Alta (1.4 percent), Naguabo (1.2 percent), Barceloneta (0.8 percent), Dorado (0.7 percent), Las Piedras (0.6 percent), Culebra (0.4 percent), Canóvanas (0.4 percent), Juncos (0.4 percent) and Coamo (0.1 percent).

On the flip side, a summary by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics shows that 10 of the towns surveyed showed significant population decreases. The mountain town of Lares had the biggest drop in population, at -5.5 percent, followed by Guánica with -5.3 percent, Mayagüez, Ponce and Peñuelas with -5.2 percent, Yauco and Fajardo with -5.0 percent, San Juan and Ceiba with -4.9 percent and Las Marías, with -4.8 percent.

Puerto Rico’s overall population has been steadily declining in recent years, according to the U.S. Census. While in April 2010 the island’s population was estimated at 3,725,789 residents, the latest estimate as of July 1 puts it at 3,615,086 — meaning that more than 110,000 people have left the island in the three-year period.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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