Puerto Rico Suffers 4% Population Loss Since Hurricane Maria
The US Census Bureau released data yesterday showing that Puerto Rico's population decreased by 129,848 between July 2017 and July 2018. Hurricane Maria struck the island in September 2017. It was the largest population decrease on record for Puerto Rico according to demographers.
KTRK TV: "The population loss was due to both deaths and people moving away, although emigration accounted for most of the drop. The heaviest population drops occurred in metropolitan areas such as the capital of San Juan, the city of Ponce and surrounding areas..... The San Juan area lost 81,087 people, a 3.9% drop, in the 12 months covered by the Census Bureau report."
Puerto Rico's official death toll from Maria is now 2,975, but the destruction caused by the hurricane forced tens of thousands to relocate, many to Florida and New York. And, the exodus may continue as the island's recovery has progressed slowly. Additional funding to rebuild Puerto Rico's infrastructure is held up in Congress and President Trump has been quoted as saying that he doesn't want “another single dollar going to the island.”