A report by John D. Sutter for CNN.
An estimated 130,000 people — almost 4% of the population — left the island of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, according to data released Wednesday by the US Census Bureau.
“It’s a really large number — and it’s a number that’s well above what we’ve seen in the past,” Alexis Santos, a demographer at Penn State University, said of the population decrease. “Here, what you’re looking at is double — double the displacement we would have expected” in a normal year.
The population of the US territory has long been falling and now sits at about 3.2 million. Amid a debt crisis and other problems, more than 530,000 people have left Puerto Rico since 2010, the agency says.