Demographics of Puerto Rico

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Puerto Rico, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The population of Puerto Rico has been shaped by Amerindian settlement, European colonization, slavery, economic migration, and Puerto Rico's status as a United States Commonwealth.


History of migration

The inhabitants of Puerto Rico immediately before the first European contact were part of the Arawak group of Amerindians. They called the island, Borikén (alt. Borinquén) and themselves "Boricuas". They were named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 as the Taíno.


The Spanish conquered the island, assuming government in 1508, colonized it, and enslaved the natives. The Taíno population dwindled due to disease, warfare, and forced labor, and the Spanish began importing large numbers of slaves from Africa. Spanish men arrived on the island disproportionately to Spanish women; Taíno women were sometimes forced to marry them, resulting in a mestizo, or "mixed" ethnicity.

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