The Population Decline of Puerto Rico: An Application of Prospective Trends in Cohort-Component Projections

Alexis R. Santos-Lozada, University of Texas at San Antonio
Alberto Velazquez, Instituto de Estadísticas de Puerto Rico

This paper examines the impact of demographic trends on the population of Puerto Rico, and the contribution each component of population change has in the population of the island. Puerto Rico experienced the first population decline in recorded history, which brings forth the question of the future of the population and public policy implications. The results of the analysis present a panorama in which the population of Puerto Rico had the potential to grow until 2015 based in all scenarios, with no scenario projecting a growing population. The fluctuation of population components rates are responsible and account for the magnitude of the population decline with decreases in fertility and growing rates of out-migration being the primarily contributors to the decline. The population of Puerto Rico seems to move towards an age structure with growing aged population, decreases in school-aged children, which point to a future "inverted pyramid" structure.

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Presented in Session 16: Immigration and Population Change: Implications for Business and Government