The number of Puerto Ricans who have left the island is averaging 1,800 residents a day since Hurricane Maria hit for a total of 100,000—more than the total number of Puerto Ricans who flew out in all of 2015, the latest year for which data is available.
It’s understandable why they’re are flocking to the mainland. Nearly 60% of the island’s power generation is still offline. Water service hasn’t been fully restored. Communications remain spotty.
The slow return to normalcy is crippling large swaths of Puerto Rico’s economy. The longer the service outages last, the more people will leave, and the more difficult it will be for the island to recover.
A long economic recession has already caused a mass exodus over the past decade.