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Puerto Rico Population


Puerto Rico's colonial history with Spain resulted in a racially mixed population (Spanish, African and indigenous Taino), 85% of which is Roman Catholic. The population was estimated at 3,915,798 in July 2000, a growth of 10% between 1990 and 1999, according to the US Census Bureau. People between the ages of 15 and 64 constitute two-thirds of the population, and people 14 and under make up roughly one-fourth. With an annual population growth rate of 0.56% as of 2000, the population is estimated to reach 4,117,633 by 2010. The average life expectancy of the population is 75.55 years.

Population growth is discouraged by the government, which supports family-planning programs and birth-control measures on the community and national levels. In the 20th century, large-scale migration to the US mainland had slowed population growth and alleviated overcrowding, but since the 1990s there has been a growing movement of Puerto Ricans from the mainland returning to the island because of improved living conditions. The government also places high emphasis on education, which explains the high literacy rate on the
island (90%). Bilingual education measures are growing, and are the source of great debate on the island.

The population of Puerto Rico shows high concentrations in urban areas along the coastal lowlands. Several pairs of neighbouring cities are virtually growing together due to urban expansion. For example, the capital and its surrounding areas have a population of more than 1.5 million. Still, almost 70% of the island's population remains rural.


Population :
3,971,020 (July 2009 est.)

Age structure :
0-14 years: 19.9% (male 404,635/female 386,733)
15-64 years: 66% (male 1,260,114/female 1,361,193)
65 years and over: 14.1% (male 240,318/female 318,027) (2009 est.)

Median age :
total: 36.2 years
male: 34.5 years
female: 37.9 years (2009 est.)

Population growth rate :
0.34% (2009 est.)

Birth rate :
12.12 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

Death rate :
7.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

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