Some key information on Puerto Ricans in anticipation of their 100th year of citizenship.

As Puerto Rico enters its 100th year of American citizenship, Pew Research Center has taken the opportunity to survey the territory.

Here are some of the key findings from the study.


The island’s population last year was estimated to be around 3.4 million, indicating a reduction of 446,000 since 2004. Projections suggest that the population will decline to three million by 2050.

This is an interesting transition considering the fact the population in Puerto Rico has only grown from the 1700s to early 2000. In fact, the population went up even during the Great Migration, which took place right after World War II.

The decline in population has been attributed mainly to the economic recession. The recession has seen people opting to migrate towards mainland U.S. From 2005 to 2015, the territory has lost around 446,000 people, with 40 percent moving out in search of employment and 39 percent leaving over household/family matters.

The decline in population has had an impact on every county within the island. For instance, the capital, San Juan, has lost 40,000 people to migration in the last 15 years or so.

The majority of those who leave Puerto Rico migrate towards Florida. As a result, the Puerto Rican population has crossed the 1 million mark. Estimates suggest a third of those migrating from Puerto Rico in recent years have opted to settle in Florida.


Hispanics of Puerto Rican descent in the island have a higher child poverty rate and lower median household income compared to Hispanics of Puerto Rican descent living in mainland U.S.

The average age of a Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico is estimated to be 40, whereas, for Puerto Ricans in mainland U.S., the average age is estimated to be 46. However, for Hispanics of Puerto Rican descent living in mainland U.S., the average age is 22.


The study found that a majority of Puerto Ricans identified as Christians. 56 percent of Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico specifically identified as being Catholic, while 33 percent identified as Protestants. Out of the 33 percent, 48 percent referred to themselves as born-again Christians.

In comparison, another survey from 2013 found 53 percent of Puerto Ricans in mainland U.S. identified as Catholic and 30 percent identified as Protestant. 62 percent of Protestants referred to themselves as being-born again Christian.


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