SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – The median age of Puerto Rico’s population has reached its highest level in the island’s history at 40 years old, and now tops that of the U.S. mainland by more than two years, officials said yesterday.
The U.S. territory is experiencing a flight of young professionals amid a decades-long economic crisis, which government officials say is further aggravated by the island’s shrinking and aging population. Puerto Rico is struggling to restructure $70 billion in public debt as it faces challenges, including a shriveling tax base.
The U.S. Census Bureau said Puerto Rico’s median age had reached 40 when compared to 37.8 for the U.S. mainland.
Officials said that statistics from 2015 also reveal that five municipalities in Puerto Rico’s southwest region have the highest percentage of people 64 years and older. In addition, the municipalities with the highest percentage of people between 15 and 64 were found mostly in the interior of Puerto Rico’s eastern region.