The latest available figures put Puerto Rico’s population at 3,706,690. This is based on a US Census Bureau estimate from July 2011. At the time of writing in 2014, the estimated population is 3.68 million.
If Puerto Rico were a full state in the United States (remember, it is actually a Commonwealth), this would make it the 29th largest state in the US, sandwiched between Oklahoma and Connecticut. It is, by some considerable distance, the largest US territory - the next largest being Guam with a population of 159,358.
Puerto Rico Population Decline
The figures above show that the population of Puerto Rico has begun to decline after a long period of steady and fairly rapid growth (as can be seen in this table).
The last full US census results, from 2010, showed that there were 3,725,789 people in Puerto Rico, so the population decrease was 19,099 in a single year. The previous census, conducted in 2000, showed that at that point, Puerto Rico had 3,808,610 people, so as well as losing just over 100,000 people in a decade, it appears as though the rate of population reduction is actually increasing.
There are a number of reasons for this decline including lower birth rates and lower death rates as the island becomes more prosperous. Increased emigration to the continental United States is also a factor, as people move to improve their economic prospects and sometimes – because Puerto Rico is a densely populated territory – to improve quality of life in other ways.
Largest Cities in Puerto Rico
The largest city in Puerto Rico is San Juan, the island’s capital. It has a population of 395,326, making it the 46th largest city in the USA.
Puerto Rico is one of the most densely populated areas of the United States and, as a result there are quite a few other fairly large towns and cities on the island.
The second largest city is Bayamon, which has 208,116 people and is the 103rd largest city in America. Other major cities include Carolina (176,762), Ponce (166,327) and Caguas (142,893).
Is Puerto Rico a Country?
Is Puerto Rico a country? Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. That said, it is neither a sovereign country nor a state of the United States.
The Island of Puerto Rico measures 9,104 square kilometers. It is the third-largest island in the United States and the 82nd globally. It is the smallest member of the Greater Antilles, which constitutes about 90% of the total West Indies land area.
The population of Puerto Rico is roughly 3.2 million. The majority of the population, 75.8%, is white, followed by African Americans, 12.4%, while other ethnicities like American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders make up the rest. Since it is a territory of the United States, all Puerto Ricans are considered native-born Americans. However, they cannot vote in presidential elections and are not presented in the congress.
Puerto Rico has a high-income economy. The island has the most competitive economy in Latin America. Its main industries include manufacturing, electronics, textiles, the service industry, real estate, and tourism. Puerto Rico receives significant financial aid from the United States' federal government every year.