This information originally appeared in Spanish in Puerto Rico’s Vocero newspaper. While politicians on the island from all political parties play the partisan game, according to the US Census, Puerto Rico is facing worsening economic and social conditions.
Puerto Rico has become a poor country, that is more dependent, with more disabled people. The working age population is now the minority, their participation in the labor market is minimal and they are less educated. A quarter of the population lives in poverty, according to 2010 Census.
Here are some facts:
- There are 311,000 people who live alone. That equates to one in five of all 1.319 million Puerto Rican households 1,319 million. The average number of people in other households is 3.2.
- Half of the families in Puerto Rico are married couples, and 43 percent of them have children. A third of households are headed by women. There are now 700,000 thousand children. There are more people over 65 in Puerto Rico than children, creating a dependent population.
- Each year there are 17,000 marriages, while there are 15,000 divorces. Almost half of couples who have a home are not married.
- 52 percent of the population are women.
- 15 percent of the population is over 65 years old.
- In 42 percent of the families, there is a person over 65 years old, which means that this elderly population does not have sufficient income to live alone.
- In the area of education, a quarter of the island’s total population, one million people, is comprised of students, including adults, adolescents, and children. However, the majority of the adult population has attained a high school education. The level of education is 22 percent, which suggests that the poverty rate has increased.
- 80 percent of teachers in the public school system are not in English, while 63 percent of university students do not graduate. 60 percent of public school students do not master basic skills in Spanish.
- Only one in five Puerto Ricans have mastered English skills, thus reducing the bilingual labor market.
- There are 2,444,000 people who 25 years or older. 20 percent of this population has ninth grade education or less, 11 percent complete Grade 11, while only 25 percent have completed fours years of high school.
- 63 percent of the population have a college education or lower education.
- On the island there are 400,000 people with college degrees, or 16 percent of the population. Only 6 percent if the population or 154,000 people have a graduated degrees The total number of people with undergraduate or graduate degrees is only 22 percent of the population.
- There are 113,000 veterans Puerto Ricans living on the Island
- Meanwhile, there are 726 000 people with disabilities, or 20 percent of the population. 52 percent of people over 65 has some form of disability, and children represent 7 percent of the disabled population. There are 67,000 students in special education. Disabled adults and children account for 1.5 million people, or one third of the population.
- There are 200,000 Puerto Ricans born in the U.S., or 5 percent of the population. Another 304,000 were born outside the United States, while the rest of the population was born on the island.
- In terms of economics, the study revealed that a 250,000 families (with 3.2 members per household) live on less than $ 10,000 annually, or $ 800 per month, which equals $ 240 a month per household member.
- Women are discriminated against by receiving less pay and have worse working conditions, while the average monthly income of retirees is $ 668 from Social Security.
- The labor force is 1.2 million, a quarter of the population. The participation rate is one million, less than 39 percent of the total population. Only 39% of older people who work.
- Almost half the population lives below the poverty line: 45 percent of 3.7 million.Less than 40,000 families have incomes more than $ 100 000. 37 percent of the population depends on the federal Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP).
- In the last decade has been over half a million Puerto Ricans have left the island, which results is a fleeing of knowledge from the island.
- 40 percent of the population receives 8 percent of the country’s income, while the remaining 92 percent goes into the hands of 60% of the population, which implies an unequal distribution of wealth.
- On issues related to the population of all Puerto Ricans in the United States, there are now 4.2 million Puerto Ricans living in the United States. This signifies a greater diaspora, when compared to countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Palestines.
- The population of people under 18 years old fell to 17 percent.
- Puerto Rico has become a nation without a working class, with poor, dependent, disabled and marginalized people.
The island has been in decline, according to data that could be classified as the worst since the first census conducted in 1950. Is it the lost decade?