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Stateside Puerto Ricans Represented Most Heavily in FL, NY, MA, CT and PA

The entire island of Puerto Rico, with its three million plus U.S. citizen residents, is represented by just one person in Congress: Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, the non-voting Member of the House of Representatives who serves as Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner.  A high level of migration from Puerto Rico to the states in recent years, some of it spurred on by damage faced after Hurricane Maria in 2017, means that today more people of Puerto Rican heritage live in the states than on the island.  There are a number of congressional representatives who speak for Puerto Ricans who have moved stateside, spread among several states.

Here are the top 20 Members of Congress in order of the number of Puerto Ricans they represent:

#1. Darren Soto

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) represents 202,905 Puerto Ricans. They make up 24.7% of his constituents in Florida’s 9th district.

#2. Ritchie Torres

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) represents 118,734 Puerto Ricans in his home district in New York. They make up 16.3% of the population in the 15th district of New York.

#3. Richard Neal

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) represents 117,427 Puerto Ricans in District 1 of Massachusetts.

#4. Brendan Boyle

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) speaks for 111,133 Puerto Ricans in Pennsylvania’s 2nd District. They make up 15.5% of his constituents.

#5. Maxwell Frost

Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) has 100,003 Puerto Ricans in his district, which is District 10 in Florida. That comes to 13% of the total population.

#6. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) represents 99,147 Puerto Ricans. This is 13.6% of the population in her district, New York District 14.

#7. John Larson

Rep. John Larson (D-CT) has 79,706 Puerto Ricans in his district, District 1 of Connecticut.

#8. Scott Franklin

Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL) represents 78,750 Puerto Ricans in Florida’s District 18.

#9. Cory Mills

Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) is the representative for 77,753 Puerto Ricans in Florida’s 7th District.

#10. Susan Wild

Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) speaks for 77,022 Puerto Ricans in the 7th District in Pennsylvania.


Some other U.S. senators and representatives have spoken out on behalf of their Puerto Rican constituents, such as include Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) at #13, Robert Menendez (D-NJ) at #14, and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) at #20. Velazquez has just 7.9% Puerto Rican constituents, but beginning at #37, each member on the list has 5% or fewer.

The state with the largest number of Puerto Rican residents is Florida with over a million. However, Connecticut has the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans, at 8.1%. 44% of all Hispanic residents of the Nutmeg States are Puerto Rican. In terms of percentage, Connecticut is followed by Florida and then New York and New Jersey at 5% each. More than half the states have fewer than 1% Puerto Rican populations. Montana is the lowest of all, with .02% Puerto Rican residents.

Since Puerto Rico has no voting members of Congress and no senators at all, decisions about the territory are made by members of Congress representing states. Those who have larger Puerto Rican populations among their constituents might be more likely to take this responsibility seriously.

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