Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues…

Puerto Rico: Fast Facts

Selected Indicators on Puerto Rico, Compared to the 50 States and DC
  Puerto Rico 50 States and DC
Total Population (2015)1 3,449,000 317,480,000
Percent Change Since 20062 -12% +8%
Demographic Characteristics (2015)3
U.S. Born Citizens 97% 86%
Identify as Hispanic 99% 18%
Over age 65 18% 15%
Below 100% FPL 46% 15%
Health Coverage (2015)4
Medicaid/CHIP 49% 20%
Employer-Sponsored Insurance/Direct Purchase 35% 60%
Medicare or Military 11% 11%
Uninsured 6% 9%
Economic Statistics
Median Household Income (2016)5 $20,078 $57,617
Seasonally-Adjusted Unemployment Rate (August 2017)6 10% 4%
Health Statistics
Adults Reporting Fair/Poor General Health (2016)7 34% 18%
Adults Reporting Diabetes (2016)8 15% 11%
Adults Reporting Heart Attack or Heart Disease (2016)9 11% 7%
Locally-Acquired Zika Virus Disease Cases (2016)10 34,963 224
HIV Diagnosis Rate per 100,000 People (2015)11 17.1 14.7
Infant Mortality Rate per 100,000 Live Births (2013)12 7.1 6.0
Federal Medicaid Rules13
Federal Matching Rate Fixed at 55% Ranges from 50-83% based on state’s per capita income
Federal Funding Capped at $357.8 million in FY 2018 Uncapped
  • Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, is located in the Caribbean. Puerto Ricans are natural-born U.S. citizens, with nearly 3.4 million U.S. citizens residing on the island.14
  • Roughly one in two Puerto Ricans are enrolled in the island’s Medicaid program.15
  • Unlike the 50 states and DC, annual federal funding for Puerto Rico is capped, meaning once federal funds are exhausted, the island no longer receives federal financial support for its Medicaid program during that fiscal year. The ACA provided an additional $6.4 billion one-time allotment, which is expected to exhaust by April 2018, leaving Puerto Rico with an $877 million shortfall in Medicaid funding.16
  • Puerto Rico’s health care system faces a number of challenges. As young people migrate to the U.S. mainland, seniors now make up a larger share of the population. Health indicators are worse than that of the rest of the United States, and the island’s Medicaid program that covers half of the population faces financing difficulties in addition to Puerto Rico’s overall fiscal challenges.17
  • Hurricane Maria has placed additional pressure on an already strained health care system with people in need of immediate medical care. News reports describe power outages throughout the island, many without clean drinking water, and hospitals without electricity or fuel for generators.18 19
Endnotes
  1. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 2015 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.

    ← Return to text

  2. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 2006 and 2015 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.

    ← Return to text

  3. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 2015 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.

    ← Return to text

  4. Ibid.

    ← Return to text

  5. Gloria G. Guzman, Household Income: 2016, American Community Survey Briefs (U.S. Census Bureau, September 2017), https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2017/acs/acsbr16-02.pdf.

    ← Return to text

  6. “State Employment and Unemployment,” United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed September 2017, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.toc.htm.

    ← Return to text

  7. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

    ← Return to text

  8. Ibid.

    ← Return to text

  9. Ibid.

    ← Return to text

  10. “2016 Case Counts in the US,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/zika/reporting/2016-case-counts.html.

    ← Return to text

  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Atlas Plus, updated 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/atlas/index.htm.

    ← Return to text

  12. Mathews TJ, MacDorman MF, Thoma ME, Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2013 period linked birth/infant death data set. National vital statistics reports; vol 64 no 9. Hyatsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2015.

    ← Return to text

  13. “Medicaid Financing and Spending in Puerto Rico,” MACPAC, September 2017, https://www.macpac.gov/publication/medicaid-financing-and-spending-in-puerto-rico/.

    ← Return to text

  14. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 2015 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.

    ← Return to text

  15. Ibid.

    ← Return to text

  16. Congress approved an additional $295.9 million in Medicaid funding under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, projected to exhaust in September 2017. “Medicaid Financing and Spending in Puerto Rico,” MACPAC, September 2017, https://www.macpac.gov/publication/medicaid-financing-and-spending-in-puerto-rico/.

    ← Return to text

  17. Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 8 Questions and Answers about Puerto Rico (Washington, DC: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, September 2016), https://www.kff.org/disparities-policy/fact-sheet/8-questions-and-answers-about-puerto-rico/.

    ← Return to text

  18. Maggie Astor, “Puerto Rico: What Other Americans Should Know,” New York Times (September 26, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/us/puerto-rico-hurricane-american.html.

    ← Return to text

  19. Olga Khazan, “The Crisis at Puerto Rico’s Hospitals,” The Atlantic (September 26, 2017), https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/09/the-crisis-at-puerto-ricos-hospitals/541131/.

    ← Return to text

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/KaiserFamFound

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.