1899 Puerto Rico Census

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Tenth Census of Puerto Rico
General information
Country Puerto Rico
Date taken 10 November 1899 (1899-11-10)
Total population 953,243
Percent change Increase 16.0%[1]
Most populous department Ponce (203,191)
Least populous department Aguadilla (99,645)

The 1899 Puerto Rico Census (or Porto Rico as it was then commonly called), was the first national population census held in Porto Rico under U.S. control by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. War Department.[2] It is also the tenth-census combined with the previous censuses taken by Spain. The day used for the census, was friday November 10, 1899. The total population of the island of Puerto Rico was counted as 953,243 - an increase of 154,678 people or 16% since the previous 1887 Census by the Spanish government.[3]

Population schedule[edit]

The population schedule used in the census, translated into English and reduced in size is as follows:[4]

  • Street.
  • Number of house.
  • Number of house or building in the order of visitation.
  • Number of family in the order of visitation.
  • Name of every person residing with this family or in this house


  • Relationship of each person to the head of the family.

Personal description


  • Native country of this person.



  • Occupation, trade or profession of every person 10 years of age and over.


  • Months of attendance at school during the last school year.
  • Can read. (primary)
  • Can write. (primary)
  • Higher.

Sanitary conditions

  • Source of water used.
  • Disposition of garbage.
  • Latrine system.

Method of Tabulation[edit]

It was taken that to save time, the tabulation should be done by machine and not by the old hand-tally system. As the machines invented by Mr Herman Hollerith were successfully used in the earlier eleventh and were to be used for the twelfth U.S. census, it was adopted.[5]

Population and dwellings[edit]

Supervisors. Left - Luis Muñoz Morales, Luis A. Torregrosa, Enrique Colom, Ricardo Hernández, Manuel Badrena, Felix Seijo, Guillermo Riefkohl.
Department Total population Increase
Humacao (with Río Grande) 100,866 8.2%
Mayagüez 127,566 10.0%
Guayama 111,986 15.5%
Aguadilla 99,645 15.7%
Bayamón (less Rio Grande) 147,681 20.2%
Ponce 203,191 27.5%
Arecibo 162,308 30.7%
Flag of Puerto Rico (1895-1952).png Puerto Rico 953,243 Increase 19.4%
Source:[6]Report on the census of Porto Rico - 1899

Population by municipal districts[edit]

Aguadilla department 99,645 Guayama department-continued
     Aguada 10,581      Cidra 7,552
     Aguadilla 17,830      Comerio 8,249
     Isabela 14,888      Guayama 12,749
     Lares 20,883      Gurabo 8,700
     Moca 12,410      Juncos 8,429
     Rincón 6,641      Salinas 5,731
     San Sebastian 16,412      San Lorenzo 13,433
Arecibo department 162,308 Humacao department 88,501
     Arecibo 36,910      Fajardo 16,782
     Barceloneta 9,357      Humacao 14,313
     Camuy 10,887      Maunabo 6,221
     Ciales 18,115      Naguabo 10,873
     Hatillo 10,449      Patillas 11,163
     Manati 13,989      Piedras 8,602
     Morovis 11,309      Vieques 6,642
     Quebradillas 7,432      Yabucoa 13,905
     Utuado 43,860 Mayagüez department 127,566
Bayamon department 160,046      Añasco 13,311
     Bayamon 19,940      Cabo Rojo 16,154
     Carolina 11,965      Hormigueros 3,215
     Corozal 11,508      Lajas 8,789
     Dorado 3,804      Las Marias 11,279
     Loiza 12,522      Maricao 8,312
     Naranjito 8,101      Mayagüez 35,700
     Rio Grande 12,365      Sabana Grande 10,560
     Rio Piedras 13,760      San German 20,246
     San Juan 32,048 Ponce department 203,191
     Toa Alta 7,908      Adjuntas 19,484
     Toa Baja 4,030      Aibonito 8,596
     Trujillo Alto 5,683      Barranquitas 8,103
     Vega Alta 6,107      Barros 14,845
     Vega Baja 10,305      Coamo 15,144
Guayama department 111,986      Guayanilla 9,540
     Aguas Buenas 7,977      Juana Diaz 27,896
     Arroyo 4,867      Peñuelas 12,129
     Caguas 19,857      Ponce 55,477
     Cayey 14,442      Santa Isabel 4,858
- -      Yauco 27,119
Source:[7]Report on the census of Porto Rico - 1899


Department Median age
Guayama 17.3
Arecibo 17.6
Humacao 17.7
Aguadilla 17.9
Bayamon 18.2
Ponce 18.5
Mayaguez 19.1
Source: 1899 Census of Porto Rico.[8]


Proportion of foreign-born population. Source:[9]

  Spain (55.45%)
  Spanish America (11.0%)
  United States (7.5%)
  Others (26.05%)

The number of foreign-born returned by the census is 13,872 or about 1.5% of the total population. There were few regions in the western hemisphere in which the proportion of natives is so high and that of the foreign-born so low. Of the total number of foreigners 5,935 or 43 per cent were found in the three cities of San Juan, Ponce and Mayagüez. Of the total foreign-born 7,690 or 55 per cent were born in Spain.[10]

Country Population
Puerto Rico 939,371 98.5%
Totals, Foreign-born 13,872 1.5%
Flag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svg Spain 7,690
Spanish America 1,542 0.2%
     West India islands 1,194 -
Africa 427 -
United States United States 1,069 0.1%
Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912).svg China 68 -
Flag of Puerto Rico (1895-1952).png Puerto Rico 953,243 100.0%
Source: 1899 Porto Rico census[11]


With reference to race, the population of Porto Rico is divided by the census into two main classes - those who are and those who are not pure whites, or Caucasians. The number belonging to each of these classes is as follows:

Race Population Percentage
White 589,426 61.8%
Colored* 363,817 38.2%
     (Persons of mixed blood) 304,352 83.6%
Flag of Puerto Rico (1895-1952).png Puerto Rico 953,243 100.00%
Source: 1899 Census of Porto Rico.[12]

The colored in the table includes very few (75) Chinese and many persons of mixed white and Black African blood as well as pure Black. Somewhat more than three-fifths of the population of Porto Rico are white and nearly two-fifths are partly or entirely negro or Black. By the 1899 census five-sixths (83.6 per cent) of the total colored were returned as of mixed blood.[13]

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Report on the census of Porto Rico, 1899