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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Number of senior citizens compared to teens has doubled in 34 towns



Hormigueros had an old-age index of 312, reflecting that the elderly population had already tripled the population of minors in the municipality. The next four municipalities with the highest old-age indexes were Rincón (285), Guaynabo (252), Lajas (249) and Ceiba (243).

By The Star Staff


The number of individuals older than 65 has doubled in relation to the population of individuals younger than 15 in 34 island towns, and in Hormigueros it has tripled, according to the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute.


The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday published the most recent data from the Annual Population Estimates, on demographic characteristics for municipalities and Puerto Rico at large, as well as for United States counties and states.


The statistics refer to July 1, 2023 (the most recent year available), and include population estimates by age and sex for each municipality and the population change in the current decade. On behalf of the U.S. Census Data and Information Center Network, the Statistics Institute reported several findings from the new publication of population estimates for 2023.


As of the July 1, 2023, the new estimates of the population by age groups, which are used to generate the old-age index for the municipalities and Puerto Rico, reveal that according to the old-age index, some 34 municipalities had doubled the size of their population aged 65 or over, in relation to their population under 15 years old, respectively.


The municipality of Hormigueros had an old-age index of 312, reflecting that the elderly population had already tripled the population of minors in the municipality.


In addition to Hormigueros, the next four municipalities with the highest old-age indexes were Rincón (285), Guaynabo (252), Lajas (249) and Ceiba (243).


On the other hand, the five municipalities with the lowest old-age index turned out to be Barranquitas (134), Santa Isabel (137), Juncos (141), Peñuelas (142) and Toa Alta (146).


At the Puerto Rico level, the old-age index indicates that the population of older adults is approaching doubling for every 100 minors with a value of 199. Compared to the most recent Decennial Census (April 2020), the old-age index specifically increased by 25%, from 158.4 to 198.6 in 2023.


“Based on the new estimates, and examining indicators such as the old-age index, the rapid demographic transformation of the jurisdiction can be closely followed,” said Alberto L. Velázquez Estrada, senior manager of statistical projects of the Institute. “This indicator contextualizes which population group (elderly and minors) has the greatest weight when providing services. The need to strengthen the entities that focus on providing services to the older adult population is clear, both at the municipal and Puerto Rico levels.”


The old-age index compares the population aged 65 or over to the population of children under 15 to see if the elderly population of a place is more, equal to, or less than the population of minors. It is interpreted as the number of elderly people per 100 minors in a given place.


As an interactive summary, the Statistics Institute published a map (https://censo.estadisticas.pr/node/529) that allows people to see the old-age index at the municipal level, facilitating geographic comparison within Puerto Rico.

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