It is no secret that Puerto Rico has been in an economic recession for 12 years, which has caused a drastic change in the profile of the Puerto Rican who remains on the Island. We, as a local consulting firm, encourage our clients to be alert to these changes. since, as a consequence, changes in demand, consumption and income are inevitable.

According to the Community Survey, conducted by the Census Bureau, the population for 2017 in Puerto Rico totaled 3,337,177, a population drop of 74,130 people (2.2%) compared to 2016. These data do not measure the impacts after María’s passing . We can add, with data from the Ports Authority, that in the three months after María (October to December 2017) 162,787 people left the island, but in the first three months of 2018 (January to March) some 78,768 people returned , for a net of 84,019 people who left Puerto Rico six months after the passage of hurricanes Irma and María. The final population data are still in analysis.

The median age increased from 32.1 years in 2000 to 41.4 years, a larger population predominates as we can see in the breakdown by age. In 2000, people under the age of 18 made up 28.6% of the population – demonstrating a potential for production, labor and income. This group decreased to 19.7% in 2017. On the other hand, people over 65 years increased from 11.2% in 2000 to 19.7% in 2017. Now, there is the same proportion of people over 65 years of age, than those under 18 years of age. Here demographic changes in population aging and the ability of younger generations to provide for those who retire are demonstrated.

Population aging is reflected in the number of households receiving Social Security that increased from 33.8% in 2000 to 45% last year. It should be noted that not every Social Security recipient is an elderly person, since part of that population are beneficiaries for other reasons such as disability, minority, and so on.

Likewise, the number of income-dependent households by the federal or state government increased. 37.9% of households received income from the Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN) last year.

Regarding the profile of workers, government workers decreased from 24.4% in 2000 to 21.5% in 2017, this is approximately more than 10,000 jobs less in general (including state, municipal and federal on the island). The government became the largest employer on the island in 2010 with almost 280,000 jobs.

This analysis was written by the Economic Intelligence research unit, available to subscribers together with more than 90 economic indicators.