Puerto Rico Suffering Heavy Brain Drain

by Sara Inés Calderón of NewsTaco.com

A new report from the Instituto de Estadísticas de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics) has found that the island nation is suffering some pretty heavy brain drain and population decline, especially since the recession began.

The report, “Perfil del Migrante 2000-2009” was published at the end of last month and utilized Census data. Among the report’s key findings:

◦From 2005-2009 more than 300,000 people from Puerto Rico left for the U.S.
◦During the same time, just over 160,000 people came to Puerto Rico from the U.S.
◦Meaning that Puerto Rico suffered a population loss of 144,000 people in five years — that’s almost 4% of the entire population!
◦2006 saw the most movement, probably because of the Recession.
◦Finally, the people who left Puerto Rico had higher levels of education than the people who came back = brain drain.
◦This is making Puerto Rico’s median age much older, as young people are leaving.

Bad news for Puerto Rico. You can’t be successful and grow without your young people, or without the educated class, for that matter. Add onto that the terrible struggle students in Puerto Rico are facing right now, including being beaten over protesting, and Puerto Rico is looking at some major problems in the near future.

I was speaking to a guy from Puerto Rico recently, and he told me plainly that he’s never going back. There’s no work, he says, too much traffic and it’s not as safe as it used to be, he said. From the looks of this report, unless something drastic changes really quickly, it’s not going to get any better anytime soon.

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