Census says its Puerto Rico population number was too high

The U.S. Census said its Puerto Rico population count in the 2020 census was 5.7% too high, based on a “post-enumeration survey,” but analysts saw good and bad in the revised count.

The follow-up survey showed Puerto Rico’s deviation was greater than that of any state.

In spring 2021 the Census said Puerto Rico’s population in April 2020 was 3,290,000 people. The PES indicates the actual population was 3,116,000.

The Census PES statement indicated the 2020 census overcount on the island was 9.7% for those over 50 years old, 3.6% for those 30 to 49, and not statistically significant for the younger age groups.

“Less population is usually bad for debt service capacity,” said Advantage Business Consulting President Vicente Feliciano. “However, the information is unclear. If the preliminary information is right, Puerto Rico’s median age is not growing as fast as originally thought. This happens to be good for debt service.”

In 2010 the Census tallied Puerto Rico’s population at 3,726,000. The declining population has been a concern for the island’s economy, and those negotiating the restructuring of the debt of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority .

Separately, the economic activity index fell 0.6% in June from May, the Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico said. The June index was down 1% from March, which was the highest figure since January 2016.

The June index figure was 2.3% above the level of June 2021.


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