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Puerto Rico has Higher Homeownership

Guest Shelly Lowe

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Guest Shelly Lowe

Residents of Puerto Rico had a higher homeownership rate, had more people per household and were less likely to move than U.S. stateside residents, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2006 Puerto Rico Community Survey.


Puerto Rico’s homeownership rate of 74.1 percent was lower than only two states —Minnesota (76.3 percent) and Michigan (75.2 percent). There were 3.13 persons per household in Puerto Rico, compared with 2.61 in the United States, and 7.1 percent of Puerto Ricans moved within the commonwealth in 2006, compared with 13.5 percent who moved within the same U.S. state.


These are among the wide range of data now available annually from the Census Bureau’s Puerto Rico Community Survey.


Among the other findings are the following:




* The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Puerto Rico was $98,700, which was higher than four U.S. states — Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi. Among municipios (county equivalents), some of the highest median values of owner-occupied housing units were found in Guaynabo ($181,300), San Juan ($150,300) and Trujillo Alto ($151,400).

* In Puerto Rico, 47.2 percent of mortgaged owners spent 30 percent or more of their household income on selected monthly owner costs (mortgage, tax, insurance, utilities, fees, etc.), an amount exceeded only by California’s 51.8 percent. Alternatively, only 34.6 percent of renters in Puerto Rico reported spending 30 percent or more of their household income on rent and utilities, a percent that was lower than all U.S. states except North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Half or more of mortgage owners in Aguadilla, Carolina and Toa Alta municipios spent 30 percent or more of their household income on selected monthly owner costs.

* In Puerto Rico, 6.5 percent of occupied housing units had 1.01 or more occupants per room, down from 19.3 percent in 2000. The percent of occupied housing units with 1.01 or more occupants was higher in Puerto Rico than in any state except Hawaii (9.1 percent), California (7.8 percent) and Alaska (7.0 percent).


Demographic Characteristics


* According to Census Bureau population estimates program, there were 3.9 million people living in Puerto Rico in 2006. Of these, nearly 20 percent were children and 12.8 percent age 65 and over. The median age of Puerto Rico residents was 34.7.

* Households in Puerto Rico were more likely than those in the United States to contain at least one person 65 and over, 29.3 percent compared with 23.2 percent, and at least one person under 18, 38.8 percent compared with 34.6 percent.




* From 2000 to 2006, Puerto Rico’s high school completion rate increased from 60 percent to 66.1 percent, and its bachelor’s degree attainment rate increased from 18.3 percent to 20.7 percent among people 25 years and over. Guaynabo had one of the highest bachelor’s degree rates among municipios with populations of 65,000 or greater, going from 35.9 percent in 2000 to 40.7 percent in 2006. Its high school completion rate increased from 72.3 percent to 77.4 percent.

* Puerto Rico had a lower high school completion rate than any state but had a higher bachelor’s degree rate than three — Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia.


Economic Characteristics


* Since 2000, Puerto Rico’s individual poverty rate decreased from 48.2 percent to 45.4 percent. However, this rate was more than three times as high as the rate for the United States overall and more than twice as high as any state.

* Median earnings of full-time, year-round workers were $19,280, with men earning slightly more ($19,750) than women ($18,803).

* At $20,425, the median family income in Puerto Rico was about a third that of the United States ($58,526) and about half that of Mississippi ($42,805), the state with one of the lowest median family incomes. Among municipios, Bayamon, Carolina, Guaynabo, San Juan, Toa Alta and Trujillo Alto had median family incomes that were higher than the median for the commonwealth.


Commute to Work


* The mean travel time to work in Puerto Rico was 29.7 minutes, not significantly different from 2000, and 14 percent who did not work at home had a commute of 60 minutes or more. In 2006, Aguadilla had the shortest travel time to work among municipios at 18.4 minutes, down from 23.8 in 2000.

* In Puerto Rico, 75.2 percent of workers 16 and over drove to work alone, up from 69 percent in 2000. Among municipios, Toa Alta had the highest percent of workers 16 and over who commuted alone at 88.3 percent.

* In the United States, 27.4 percent worked outside their county of residence. In Puerto Rico, 51.1 percent worked outside their municipio of residence.


Labor Force Characteristics


* Approximately one-third of married-couple families in Puerto Rico had both spouses in the labor force, compared with 53.5 percent for the United States.

* In Puerto Rico, about 824,000 civilians 16 and over reported working full-time, year-round in the past 12 months. Of these, 56.5 percent were male and 43.5 percent were female.

* Men represented the majority of full-time, year-round workers in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations (97.1 percent); farming, fishing and forestry occupations (89.9 percent); production, transportation and material moving occupations (72.7 percent); and service occupations (62.4 percent).




* People changed residences at a lower rate within Puerto Rico (8 percent) than within the U.S. overall (16.8 percent).

* In 2006, 4.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s residents lived in the same municipio one year ago, 2.5 percent lived in a different municipio, 0.8 percent lived in the United States mainland and 0.1 percent lived abroad.

* For Puerto Rico, 91.7 percent of the total population was native born, 5.1 percent were born in the United States or U.S. Island Areas, 0.3 percent were born abroad of an American parent and 2.9 percent were foreign born.

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