Tags: puerto rico | hurricane maria | aftermath | recovery

More Than 200K People Expected to Leave Puerto Rico This Year

Image: More Than 200K People Expected to Leave Puerto Rico This Year
Street signs provide directions to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan. 28, 2015. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 March 2018 10:45 AM

Puerto Ricans continue to leave the island in droves rather than toil in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the stunted recovery efforts that still see much of the island without power, The Washington Post reports.

While it's difficult to accurately gauge how many have left — or will leave — permanently, one estimate by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) predicts between 114,000 and 213,000 people will leave the island this year.

Yet another estimate puts Puerto Rico's population below 3 million in another decade, which would represent a 10 percent decline like drops seen in war-torn countries.

"What we are observing is a major depopulation event that is not extremely common in modern history," Lyman Stone, an economist at the Agriculture Department who provided that data to PR, told the Post. "People kind of treated me like a crazy person when I put it out there."

Centro projected 23,000 to 43,000 Puerto Rican children would enroll at schools - about half in Florida - on the mainland U.S., with more than 10,000 having enrolled in Florida schools for the 2017-2018 school year.

The big question is — how many Puerto Ricans will go back when power and infrastructure are restored on the island? Even the upcoming census can't predict how many might return.

"It's all speculative," Pennsylvania State University demographer Alexis Santos told the Post. "We have to be really careful with the numbers."

But for those who remain, it's all about the basics that many still don't have.

"Will I have a roof tomorrow? That's the worry I have," Hector Camacho told the Post. "It's been pretty tough here."

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Puerto Ricans continue to leave the island in droves rather than toil in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the stunted recovery efforts that still see much of the island without power.
puerto rico, hurricane maria, aftermath, recovery
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2018-45-07
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 10:45 AM
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