According to a statistical brief by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the economic, social and fiscal conditions on the island have led to a high levels of Puerto Ricans moving from the island to Florida – causing the state to tie with New York as the state with the largest Puerto Rican population at about one million people per state. The brief examines the characteristics of newly arrived Puerto Ricans compared to other groups to “understand the effects of the crisis on individuals and how to improve their lives as they seek opportunity on the mainland.”

Here are some key findings from the brief:

  • Puerto Rican movers are younger than the general Florida population.
    –  Nearly one-fourth (23.7%) of recent movers from Puerto Rico is younger than 15 years of age, compared to 22.6% of other Latinos and 18.3% of the total Florida population. At the other extreme of the age distribution, only 9.3% of recent movers are older than age 64, compared to 10.7% of other Latinos, and 18.2% for all Floridians.
  • Recent movers mirror the Latino community and have lower levels of educational attainment than other Floridians.
    –  A significant share of recent movers from Puerto Rico (38%) does not have a high school diploma but this is roughly equal to the share of Latinos without a high school degree (40.3%). Overall, 29.4% of Florida’s population does not have a high school diploma.
    –  At the upper end of the education distribution, there is a higher share of recent movers with a bachelor’s degree or more; 17.4% of recent movers have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 14.8% of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree or more.
    –  Overall, 20% of the state’s population has a bachelor’s degree or more.
  • Nearly two-thirds of recent movers from Puerto Rico live in or near poverty.
    –  A significantly higher share of recent movers lives in poverty (40%) compared to other Latinos (22.5%) and the overall population (17.1%).
    –  Similarly, the share of recent movers living near poverty (under 150% of the federal poverty level) is notably higher; 22.6% live near poverty, 15.1% of all Latinos live near poverty and 10.9% of Floridians overall live near poverty


You can read the entire report here:

Featured image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

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