The estimated population of Puerto Rico as of July 1, 2018, was 3,195,153 a 14.24% decrease since the 2010 United States Census. From 2000 to 2010, the population decreased, the first such decrease in census history for Puerto Rico. It went from the 3,808,610 residents registered in the 2000 Census to 3,725,789 in the 2010 Census.
A declining and aging population presents additional problems for the society. The U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate for July 1, 2018 was 3,195,153 people, down substantially from the 2010 data which had indicated 3,725,789 people.
Continuous European immigration and high natural increase helped the population of Puerto Rico grow from 155,426 in 1800, to almost a million by the close of the 19th century.
A census conducted by royal decree on September 30, 1858, gave the following totals of the Puerto Rican population at that time: 341,015 were Free colored; 300,430 identified as Whites; and 41,736 were slaves.
During the 19th century hundreds of families arrived in Puerto Rico, primarily from the Canary Islands and Andalusia, but also from other parts of Spain such as Catalonia, Asturias, Galicia and the Balearic Islands and numerous Spanish loyalists from Spain’s former colonies in South America. Settlers from outside Spain also arrived in the islands, including from Corsica, France, Lebanon, China, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Italy. This immigration from non-Hispanic countries was the result of the Real Cedula de Gracias de 1815 («Royal Decree of Graces of 1815»), which allowed European Catholics to settle in the island with land allotments in the interior of the island, provided they paid taxes and continued to support the Catholic Church.
Racial and Ethnic Composition in Puerto Rico (2015 Census est.)
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
Between 1960 and 1990 the census questionnaire in Puerto Rico did not ask about race or ethnicity. The 2000 United States Census included a racial self-identification question in Puerto Rico. According to the census, most Puerto Ricans identified as White and Hispanic; few identified as Black or some other race.
A recent population genetics study conducted in Puerto Rico suggests that between 52.6% and 84% of the population possess some degree of Amerindian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in their maternal