Demographics of Puerto Rico

From Academic Kids

Puerto Rico is said to comprise a White majority, an extinct Amerindian population, persons of mixed ancestry, Africans and a small Asian minority. Recent genetic research, however, contradicts that information.

Recent genetic research revealed a surprising picture about Puerto Rican heritage. It indicates that in relation to matrilineal ancestry as revealed by mtDNA, 62% of all Puerto Ricans were shown to have a female Amerindian ancestor, 27% to have a female African ancestor and 12% to have a female European ancestor. Conversely, patrilineal input as indicated by the Y chromosome, showed that 75% of all Puerto Ricans possessed a male European ancestor, 20% had a male African ancestor and less than 5% were shown to have had a male Amerindian ancestor. These results suggest that Amerindian women and European men sought each other out in high frequencies in at least one of the past 21 generations.

Other smaller studies from the island have been done which back up these results. [[1] (]

This high frequency of matrilineal Native American and patrilineal European markers, moderate frequency of both matrilineal and patrilineal African markers, and low frequency of patrilineal Native American and matrilineal European markers, correlate perfectly to the colonial history of the island. European settlers were almost exclusively men seeking fortune. These men fathered children with native women, and some African women. Native and African men on the other hand had a smaller input into the genetic pool since native men were wiped out from introduced European diseases and indentured native labour and the percentage of the population comprising imported African slaves in the impoverished island of Puerto Rico was small. Men of European origin also likely had greater status in the socio-racial hierarchy increasing their chances to sire offsrping (and for those children to survive).

Although pure Taíno numbers had dwindled due to disease, warfare and forced intermarriages, many of the marriages between Spanish men and Amerindian women were quite amicable. The "Limpeza de Sangre" documents on the island (used until the 1870's) sheds light on this reality. This document was used by Mestizos and Amerindians to move up in their society—becoming "whiter" was the only way they could achieve that status.

Later, waves of Corsican, French, and Portuguese Europeans, along with a large amount of immigrants from the Canary Islands and numerous Spanish loyalists from Spain's former colonies in South America, arrived in Puerto Rico. Other settlers have included Irish, Scots, Germans, and many others who were granted land from Spain during the Cedula de Gracias of 1815, which allowed European Catholics to settle in the island with a certain amount of free land and enslaved persons.

In recent years, immigrants from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Venezuela, have also settled, but together they represent less than 5% of the population.

The Roman Catholic religion is dominant, although there is a notable Protestant presence. Puerto Rico has its own Olympic team and has international representation in many events including the Summer Olympics, the Pan-American Games, the Central American Games, and the Caribbean World Series.

Natives of Puerto Rico are referred to as Puerto Rican (Span puertorriqueños), and also as Boricuas from Borikén (alt. Borinquén), the island's indigenous name.

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Demographics of Puerto Rico, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Population: 3,915,798 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (male 480,100; female 457,684)
15-64 years: 66% (male 1,234,065; female 1,336,848)
65 years and over: 10% (male 174,383; female 232,718) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.56% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 15.47 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 7.74 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 9.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.55 years
male: 71.05 years
female: 80.3 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.91 children born/woman (2004 est.)

noun: Puerto Rican(s) (US citizens)
adjective: Puerto Rican

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant and other 15%(many catholics also practice santeria)

Languages: Spanish (main language), English

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 90%
female: 88% (1980 est.)

See also : Puerto Rico

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