The Census Bureau has released the 2015 American Community Survey for Puerto Rico. The “Puerto Rico Community Survey” Census includes data on the incomes of households in Puerto Rico as well as information about the population.
Earlier this week, the Census Bureau reported that the median household income across the United States in 2015 was $56,500, up 5.2 percent from 2014—the largest single-year increase since record-keeping began in 1967. The New York Times reported that this change, along with a record-breaking drop in poverty, is “breaking the pattern of stagnation.”
“For the first time in recent years,” the report continued, “the benefits of renewed prosperity are spreading broadly.”
Not in Puerto Rico.
The new figures show that the median household income for Puerto Rico in 2015 was $18,626, down from $18,948 in 2014, and $19,428 in 2013. In other words, Puerto Rico shows a drop in income for the past two years, while the 50 States are showing increases.
Puerto Rico’s median household income is 32 percent — less than one third — of the national average of $56,500. The state with the lowest household median income in 2015 was Mississippi, at $40,593. Median household income in PR is 45 percent — less than half — of the median household income in Mississippi.
The median income in some other States:
- Florida’s median household income: $49,426
- New Jersey’s median household income: $72,222
- New York’s median household income: $73,854
- Utah’s median household income: $71,595
- Washington’s median household income: $70,870
And what of the two states that joined the Union in the mid 20th century?
- Alaska’s median household income: $73,355
- Hawaii’s median household income: $73,486
Both Hawaii and Alaska were in poverty when they were territories in the 1950s, but both are now more prosperous than the national average.
Puerto Rico, still an unincorporated territory of the United States, has not been able to participate in these gains.