Inquisitr, January 3, 2014
Puerto Rico’s population was on a steady decline throughout 2013.
According to the most recent US Census, the territory lost 36,459 residents between July 2012 and July 2013. This represents about one percent of the entire population and marks the third year in a row that Puerto Rico has experienced a marked decline.
Citizens apparently started leaving the country en masse back in 2010. Between 2010 and 2011, 34,628 reportedly fled the country. This number jumped a bit between 2011 and 2012, a period that saw 35,035 residents leave the territory. As of 2012, approximately 3.6 million call Puerto Rico home.
Why are people leaving the territory by the tens of thousands? Cato Institute policy analyst Juan Carlos Hidalgo told the US News and World Report that Puerto Rico’s economic instability is currently forcing people to look for work elsewhere. The unemployment rate was reportedly perched at 14 percent as of November.
He added, “The problem with Puerto Rico’s economy is mostly homemade. They have a huge public sector that through all the years overspent.”
Many residents are fleeing the territory in search of jobs in mainland US as a result of Puerto Rico’s eight-year recession. Although the unemployment rate started to improve back in 2011, things started to look extremely grim once again in 2012.