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U.S. Census Bureau: 7 Puerto Rico towns have lost 20% of population

The U.S. Census Bureau published the most recent data from the Annual Population Estimates for municipalities in Puerto Rico, which shows that from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019, seven towns lost at least 20% of its residents.

According to the percentage change in the estimates, the seven municipalities that reflected this level of population decrease in this period were: Lares, Guánica, Peñuelas, Ponce, Fajardo, Yauco and Ceiba.

Representing the U.S. State Data Center Network Census Bureau in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics reported various findings of the population estimates for the year 2019 compared to the Decennial Census of April 1, 2010.

Of Puerto Rico’s 78 towns, 45 (57.7%) saw a population increase in the last year. The largest gain (1,027) and fastest growth (2.2%) between 2018 and 2019 were in Gurabo. Additionally, Gurabo is the only town in Puerto Rico whose population in 2019 was larger than in 2010, increasing by 1,722 people (3.8%).

Between 2018 and 2019, 67 (85.9%) of towns in Puerto Rico experienced natural decrease (more deaths than births). Between 2010 and 2019, 18 (23.1%) of the 78 municipalities had natural decrease, the agency stated.

Representing the U.S. State Data Center Network Census Bureau in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics reported various findings of the population estimates for the year 2019 compared to the Decennial Census of April 1, 2010.

The data shows that 54 towns reflected populational drops of between 10% and 19% over the 10-year period, while only one town, Gurabo, showed an increase in the number of residents. In absolute terms, it is estimated that the population changed from 45,369 to 47,093 residents between 2010 and 2019.

Representing the U.S. State Data Center Network Census Bureau in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics reported various findings of the population estimates for the year 2019 compared to the Decennial Census of April 1, 2010.

The data shows that 54 towns reflected populational drops of between 10% and 19%, while only one town, Gurabo, showed an increase in the number of residents. In absolute terms, it is estimated that the population changed from 45,369 to 47,093 residents between 2010 and 2019.

“The geographical distribution shows that four of the seven municipalities with the greatest estimated decrease are located on the south and southwest coast. However, the general trend in the period 2010-19 indicates that 69% of the municipalities around the island lost from 10% to 19% of their population, respectively,” said Alberto L. Velázquez-Estrada, statistical projects manager for the Institute.

“The municipality of Gurabo continues to reflect an increase in the 2019 estimate compared to the population size it had in 2010. Next year, the results of the 2020 Census will serve, among many important purposes, to adjust the series of annual estimates for the past decade,” he said. 

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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