Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Statistical Profile

The Pew Hispanic Center has released a report on Hispanic populations in the United States, The 10 Largest Hispanic Origin Groups: Characteristics, Rankings, Top Counties, along with a statistical profile on Hispanics of Puerto Rican Origin in the United States in 2010.  According to the report, Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Hispanic subgroup in the U.S. after Mexicans, constituting nine percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population.  They are most heavily concentrated in Florida and the Northeast, but there are pockets of Puerto Ricans throughout the country.  Among the 4.7 million Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin in the United States, more than two-thirds, or 68.9 percent, were born in the United States.  Less than a third (29.9%) were born in Puerto Rico, and approximately 1 percent were born in outside of either the United States or Puerto Rico. 

The Pew Center also reported the following statistics:

  • More than eight out of ten (82%) Puerto Ricans report speaking English proficiently.  Thirty five percent of Hispanics overall reported speaking English proficiently;
  • The number of Puerto Ricans with at least a bachelor’s degree rose from 12% to 16% between 2000 and 2010;
  • Puerto Ricans have a slightly higher level of graduate education than the Hispanic population overall, in which 13% of the population has earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • The number of Puerto Ricans with a high school diploma grew from 26% to 30% between 2000 and 2010;
  • Puerto Ricans are younger than the U.S. population but the same median age as Hispanics overall.  The median age of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics in the United States is 27, and the median age of the U.S. population is 37;
  • Thirty-eight percent of Puerto Ricans own homes, compared to 47 percent of the total Hispanic population and 65 percent of the overall U.S. population;
  • The nation’s Cuban population is the most highly concentrated of all Hispanic groups.  Nearly half (48%) live in Miami-Dade County in Florida.  Puerto Ricans have the second highest population in Miami-Dade County among all Hispanic groups, but the Puerto Rican population is more broadly distributed in Florida as well as the rest of the country;
  • The ten counties with the highest Puerto Rican populations represent just 29 percent of the national Puerto Rican population.  These counties are:
    • Bronx County, NY (6% of the total U.S. Puerto Rican population);
    • Kings County, NY (4%);
    • Orange Country, FL (3%);
    • Cook County, IL (3%);
    • Philadelphia County, PA (3%);
    • New York County, NY (2%);
    • Queens County, NY (2%);
    • Hartford County, CT (2%);
    • Miami-Dade County, FL (2%); and
    • Hillsborough County, FL (2%).


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