The Problem of Puerto Rico: Results from the 2010 Census and the Late Demographic Transition

Jonathan D. Stringfield, University of Illinois at Chicago
Christine Pierce, Nielsen

The 2010 Census provides an important benchmark for demographic estimation; in some cases, the decennial census reveals unexpected shifts that previous estimation efforts did not accurately capture. Along with Michigan, Puerto Rico was revealed to be the only other state-equivalent area to demonstrate a population decline since the 2000 Census. However, while most population estimates projected a net decline for the state of Michigan in recent years, major population benchmarks estimated population growth over the decade for Puerto Rico. Thus, intercensal population estimates were misaligned both in directionality and magnitude. In this paper we first analyze Census 2010 results for Puerto Rico to examine where previous estimates differ. We then note where these results indicate a distinct “modern” demographic transition for Puerto Rico. We conclude with implications for ongoing measurement of Puerto Rico and demonstration of techniques prior to the 2010 Census which yielded improved estimate accuracy.

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Presented in Session 86: Applying Demography to Business Challenges