Puerto Rico's population shrank by 1% in the year ending July 1, according to recently released data.
The ratings agencies have cited the island's shrinking population as a credit negative.
Puerto Rico's population has been shrinking since July 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The July 1, 2013, population estimate of about 3,616,000 is down 5.5% in that period.
On Dec. 13, 2012, Moody's Investors Service explained a two notch downgrade of a wide array of Puerto Rico government and public corporation bonds in part by pointing to the island's declining population. On Oct. 24 Standard & Poor's mentioned demographic factors as contributing to its negative outlook on Puerto Rico's general obligation bonds.
Analysts have also pointed to Detroit's population decline as a factor in its financial distress and ultimate bankruptcy. However, Detroit has experienced a much more rapid and prolonged population decline. The city's population fell 24.2% to July 2012 from July 2004. It fell 62.6% to July 2012 from July 1950.