Puerto Rican Economy

Decent Essays

In the 1980s the United States experienced an economic boom that resulted in an economic recovery in Puerto Rico (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 65). The United States per capita of the average household income increased 18%, from $11,928 in 1979, to $14,052 in 1989 (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 65). The non-Hispanic white population of the United States experienced the greatest increase from $12,954 to $15,593 (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 65). The Puerto Rican population on the island increased from $3,353 to $4,099 (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 65).
There is a large gap between the per capita household income of Puerto Rico and the United States. However, when the different costs of living were accounted for and the income differentials adjusted, the per capita household income of Puerto Ricans on the island was 74% of the per capita income of Puerto Ricans on the mainland (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 66). Despite the per capita household income increases in Puerto Rico the poverty rates remained extremely high (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 75). In 1970, 63% of the population on the island lived in households with income below the poverty level (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 75). By 1990, the percentage dropped to 57%. In 1990, the overall poverty rate in the United States was 13% and 30% of those living in poverty were Puerto Rican (Rivera-Batiz, Santiago, 75). Puerto …show more content…

So much that, "even the U.S. Commerce Department reported, ‘the general nature of the present relationship is one of great federal influence in the social and economic structure of the commonwealth’ (Baver, 42). Puerto Rico has lost much of its policy autonomy as a result of engaging in such a rapid economic transformation (Baver, 42). It seems that Puerto Ricans have "sold their souls" or were "fooled" in to believing that their economic stabilization was an interest of the U.S. as well (Baver,

Get Access