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Puerto Ricans on the Mainland

We know that there are now more Puerto Ricans living on the mainland than in Puerto Rico, but where do they live? New data released from the American Community Survey of the US Census answers that question.

New York has 1,128,843 people who identify themselves as Puerto Rican, the largest number in any of the states.

Florida has 883,728 residents from Puerto Rico, making them the second largest population on the mainland, while New Jersey follows with 460,551 Puerto Ricans.

However, the Puerto Rican population of New York is just 5.8% — only slightly higher for the state as a whole than California. It’s the concentration of 21.8% in the Bronx that put New York at the top. Connecticutt, with 7.6% Puerto Rican residents, is actually the state with the highest percentage of Puerto Rican residents.

We see relatively high concentrations of Puerto Rican population in two specific counties in less populous states where the total numbers are smaller:

  • 18.5% in Hampden County in Massachussets
  • 12% in Lehigh County in Pennsylvania

According to the Pew Research Hispanic Center, 82% of Puerto Ricans living on the mainland speak English very well. Only 18% do not speak English well, compared with 35% of Mexican immigrants in the United States.

We still hear people saying that Puerto Rico could not be a successful state of the Union because there are too many language or culture differences between Puerto Rico and the 50 states. However, we see that there are quite a few states that already have significant Puerto Rican populations.

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