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Pew Analyzes Data on Puerto Ricans in the States

The Pew Research Center has released a new data analysis on people of Puerto Rican origin in the States. Their analysis of data from 2017 concludes that 5.6 million people of Puerto Rican descent now live in the States. This includes people born in Puerto Rico and descendants of people born in Puerto Rico who self-identify as Puerto Rican.

The number of Puerto Ricans living in the fifty States increased from 3,400,527 in 2000 to  5,613,709 in 2017, which is a 65% increase.

Individuals of Puerto Rican heritage are now the second largest Hispanic group in the States, after people of Mexican heritage. Puerto Ricans now make up 10% of the U.S. Hispanic population.

In the past, Puerto Ricans on the mainland have been more educated and more prosperous than the average Hispanic population. As the numbers grow, this has generally continued to be the case. Comparing Puerto Ricans with the Hispanic average in the States, we see these figures:

  • 16% of Hispanics over 25 have a B.A. or higher, while 19% of Puerto Ricans do. Among these Puerto Ricans, 21% of those born in Puerto Rico have a college degree, while 18% of those born in the States or D.C. do.
  • The median income for U.S. Hispanics is $25,000. For Puerto Ricans, the median income is $28,600. Looking just at full-time workers, the figures are $34,000 and $40,000 respectively.

However, there are some numbers that don’t follow this pattern.

As of 2017, Puerto Ricans in the U.S. were more likely to live in poverty than the average Hispanic. 23% of Puerto Ricans in the States live in poverty, while only 19% of all Hispanics do.

Home ownership is also more common among Hispanics as a whole, 47% of whom own their own homes. 38% of Puerto Ricans in the States own their homes. It is possible that this is influenced by the fact that New York, the state with the lowest rate of homeownership, is one of the States with the largest Puerto Rican population.

Florida is now the State with the highest percentage of Puerto Rican residents, followed by New York and New Jersey. These are the metro areas with the largest Puerto Rican populations:

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,262,665
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 385,283
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 271,589
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 223,762
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 205,115
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 193,599
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 144,525
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 114,115
Springfield, MA 104,825
New Haven-Milford, CT 104,528

About 70% off Hispanics in the States speak English “very well” or speak only English at home, compared with 83% of Puerto Ricans. 64% of Hispanics in general are proficient in English, compared with 79% of Puerto Ricans.

The groups included in the Pew Research Center data are Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Hondurans, Spaniards, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, Argentines and Panamanians.

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