For Immediate Release
Puerto Rico Population Drops 10% Over Past Decade
Most People Left During Island's Economic Decline
WASHINGTON - The United States Census Bureau announced that Puerto Rico's population dropped nearly 10% over the past ten years. The island's population was at 3.8 million in 2004 but is now estimated at less than 3.5 million. Of the 330,000 people who left, the majority left in the past five years. The US territory is embroiled in financial crisis and according to the island's Governor, Puerto Rico could default on its $72 billion debt in January or May.
"The Census numbers reflect how deeply the crisis is hurting the millions of Americans who call Puerto Rico home," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. "Nobody should have to leave their family and community behind out of desperation."
"The US Government needs to act immediately," noted LeCompte. "With no action, Puerto Rico's crisis deepens every day."
Read the latest Census Bureau report.
Read a timeline of Puerto Rico's debt crisis.