More than 29% of the people born in Puerto Rico still alive had left the territory for the States as of two years ago, according to U.S. Census data.
The 1.5 million residents of the States who formerly lived in the islands did not include the 3.4 million people of Puerto Rican origin born in the States.
As Puerto Rico has continued to decline economically and socially in its territory status, often misleadingly called “commonwealth”, millions of Puerto Ricans have ‘voted with their feet’ for the equality of opportunities and benefits of statehood by moving to a State.
As of 2011, there were an estimated 4,916,000 people of Puerto Rican origin in the States.
The migration has been so great in recent years that the islands’ population has declined for the first time in recorded history. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 3,808,610 people in Puerto Rico. A year ago, it estimated the population at 3,667,084 – a net decrease of 141,526.
It also, however, estimated the population two years ago at 58,705 less than at the time of the 2010 census. This means that the pace of migration from the territory to the States has substantially increased in more recent years.
The 2010-12 personal seeking of statehood averaged more than 80 Puerto Ricans every day.
Although ‘commonwealther’ opponents of statehood and right-wing allies they have enlisted in the States have tried unsuccessfully to make Puerto Ricans’ use of Spanish a disqualification for statehood, the Census data found that 82% of Puerto Ricans in the States were fluent in English.
Puerto Rico is the second-largest place of origin of Hispanics in the States. Mexico is the largest.
In 2011, there were an estimated 1,070,000 people of Puerto Rican origin in New York and 850,000 in Florida.
The number of people of Puerto Rican origin in New York has been about the same since at least 1990 — but the number in Florida has ballooned from 247,000 in 1990 and 482,000 in 2000.