SAN JUAN – Fifty-seven percent of Puerto Ricans say their financial situation has deteriorated over the last 12 months and a third are seriously contemplating leaving the island, according to a survey published Monday in the El Nuevo Dia newspaper.
The poll was taken by The Research Office using a sample of 1,000 adults between Oct. 26-29, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
Respondents were also pessimistic about Puerto Rico overall, with 53 percent describing the situation as “very bad” and 40 percent saying it is “bad.”
On the employment front, 81 percent said jobs are scarce on the island, worse than the 73 percent in a poll taken in March.
The hardscrabble economic outlook in Puerto Rico – in recession since 2007 – has some 17 percent thinking they will very probably leave the island, with another 16 percent calling it a distinct possibility.
More than 90 percent said crime is Puerto Rico’s principal problem, followed by unemployment with 85 percent, utility rates with 80 percent, and the overall economic situation, 75 percent.
The average number of violent deaths every day stands at 759, which signifies 45 less than at the same time last year, but means an average of 2.46 murders a day on an island with a population of 3.6 million inhabitants.
Puerto Rico’s Planning Board announced last Friday that the island’s economy will contract 0.8 percent in fiscal year 2014, after finishing the previous fiscal year with a drop of 0.3 percent.