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U.S. Census Bureau: 39.8% of Puerto Rico’s families still living below poverty line

The percentage of families living below the poverty line in Puerto Rico decreased to 39.8% during the five-year period between 2016 and 2020, from 41.8% on record for the period between 2011 and 2015, the US Census Bureau’s most recent Puerto Rico Community Survey showed.

“The reduction in the percentage of families in poverty in Puerto Rico could be the effect of the following changes between periods: a slight increase in family income, as indicated by the median, and a decrease in family size,” said Alberto Velázquez-Estrada, senior manager of statistical projects at the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, a State Data Center for the US Census Bureau on the island.

“Both aspects are considered in the computation of the poverty thresholds for families and individuals,” said Velázquez-Estrada.

The new publication provides data on demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for Puerto Rico and the municipalities, as well as for geographic levels, specific as, neighborhoods and census tracts.

At the municipal level, some 60 towns showed a similar decrease in terms of the characteristics of families in poverty. In only 16 of the 60 municipalities were the differences statistically significant, the survey showed.

The municipalities of Culebra, Barranquitas, Maunabo, Morovis and Peñuelas showed the greatest decrease in this characteristic. The difference in the municipality of Culebra was not statistically significant, meanwhile the town of Fajardo did not reflect change (41.4%) between both periods, and Vieques, Hormigueros, Cidra, Hatillo and Lajas showed an increase in the percentage of families in poverty, but these were not statistically significant, the survey showed.

In addition, during the 2016-2020 period, it was estimated that 81,254 grandparents live with their grandchildren, and of these 36.1% are responsible for them.

Regarding the presence of computers and internet access in homes in Puerto Rico (1,205,749), 72.6% have some computers and 64.3% have some broadband internet subscription.

Author Details
Author Details
Yamilet Aponte-Claudio was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Providencia and is currently a junior at Sacred Heart University. Majoring in Journalism and adding a minor in sustainable development and foreign languages, she aspires to study law after obtaining her bachelor’s degree.

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