How Mississippi is Catching Up — and Puerto Rico Is Not
A common fact brought up during discussions of Puerto Rico’s status, is how it compares to the poorest state in the union, Mississippi. The Puerto Rico Report took a look at how the two jurisdictions compare and it is clear Puerto Rico is lagging behind.
Puerto Rico and Mississippi share historic similarities. Both have been affected by hurricanes and war – Mississippi was the 5th most prosperous state before the Civil War. They were both are founded on an agricultural economy and have large minority populations. Today, they both face educational challenges. Puerto Rico, like Mississippi, tends to lose its college graduates to states (in Mississippi’s case, other states) on the mainland.
Mississippi continues to face challenges, but the state has made strides over the past four decades and Mississippi is catching up. The hardworking people of Mississippi have better days ahead.
Puerto Rico has not seen these improvements. The trend is, in fact, moving in the opposite direction, with Mississippi outpacing Puerto Rio. Could there also be better days ahead for Puerto Rico?
With no clear end in sight for the crisis in the US territory, many point to the status as one of the underlying reasons for the stagnation. Will Congress take notice?