Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Puerto Rico: One-Third of 1,000 Respondents Say They Are Contemplating Leaving the Island

According to The Latin American Tribune, a survey released on Monday (November 4), 57% of Puerto Ricans say that their financial situation has deteriorated over the last twelve months and a third of them are seriously contemplating leaving the island.

In Monday's edition of El Nuevo Dia, the poll was conducted by the Territory's Research Office using a sample of 1,000 adults between October 26-29, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

Respondents were also pessimistic about Puerto Rico overall, with 53% describing the situation as “very bad” and 40% saying it is “bad.”

On the employment front, 81% said jobs are scarce on the island, worse than the 73% in a poll taken in March 2013.

COMMENT: The reality is that Puerto Rico has been in recession since 2007 with 17% of respondents thinking they will very probably leave the island, with another 16% calling it a distinct possibility.

More than 90% said violent crime is Puerto Rico’s principal problem, followed by unemployment with 85%, high utility rates at 80%, and the overall economic situation being at 75%. 

The average number of violent deaths this year stand at 759, which although represents 45 fewer murders at the same time last year, yet at the same time represents an average of 2.46 murders each day on an island with a population of only 3.6 million inhabitants.

Puerto Rico’s Planning Board announced last Friday (November 1) that the island’s economy will contract 0.8% in fiscal year 2014, after finishing the previous fiscal year with a drop of 0.3%.