Furthermore, in 2017, 44 percent of people and 41 percent of families were below the poverty line in Puerto Rico. In families where women are heads of household with no husband present, the percentage was 59 percent, the survey showed.
Puerto Rico had a GINI index of 0.55, positioning itself as the jurisdiction of greater inequality in income distribution against other jurisdictions in the United States. The GINI index measures inequality, where a value of 0 is a perfect distribution of income, and a value of 1 is a completely uneven distribution.
“Although emigration goes back to breaking records again in 2017 in the Community Survey, this was expected after the passage of Hurricane María,” Institute Executive Director Mario Marazzi said.
“On the other hand, when analyzing these figures, it is important to recognize that the Community Survey is not designed to adequately capture the population displacement that can occur quickly and volatilely after a natural disaster,” he said.
“As a result, we note that these figures only include some of the people who moved after Hurricane María. Many others who could have moved temporarily or permanently are not captured in this survey, either because they moved to foreign countries, relocated to temporary housing where the questionnaire is not delivered, or are staying in homes of relatives who were living in the United States before 2017, among other possible reasons,” Marazzi said.
In that sense, it will be necessary to wait to see the results of the 2018 Survey to have a clearer picture of the post-María migration, he added.