Puerto Rico's population dwindled by nearly 130,000 people in the months after Hurricane Maria

Sept. 17, 2018: U.S. President Donald Trump once again praised his government's disaster response efforts in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, calling it a "tough situation" but adding that his administration is "winning that one big."

New Census Bureau data shows Puerto Rico lost nearly 4% of its population after Hurricane Maria – what one demographer says is the greatest population drop in the recorded history of the island.

Data released Thursday shows the U.S. territory’s population dropped by 129,848 people between July 2017 and July 2018.

WATCH: Jan. 15, 2018 — Puerto Rican school erupts with joy after electricity returns 112 days later

The hurricane struck two months into that period, in September 2017.

The population loss was due to both deaths and people moving away, although emigration accounted for most of the decrease.

READ MORE: Trump says he’s taken better care of Puerto Rico than ‘any living human being’

The heaviest population drops occurred in metropolitan areas such as the capital of San Juan, the city of Ponce and surrounding areas.

Many Puerto Ricans left for Florida and New York, home to communities of people from the territory.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

You May Also Like

Top Stories