A study by the Census Information Center (CIC) of the University of Puerto Rico shows that 550,421 Puerto Ricans have emigrated to the United States between 2011 and 2020.
The study, based on surveys conducted in both the United States and Puerto Rico, was derived from a combination of passenger and administrative data sources. According to the analysis, the highest peak occurred in 2017, when Puerto Rico suffered the consequences of Hurricane Maria.
“During the entire period 550,421 of Puerto Ricans emigrated. Net emigration was gradually increasing and reached its maximum value in the fiscal year that Hurricane Maria hit with 123,399 emigrants,” said CIC Director José Caraballo Cueto.
“There was a brief net return immigration in 2019 with 7,733 immigrants, which is probably due to the fact that many of the people who left after the hurricane had no plans to migrate permanently. In 2020, the latest fiscal year available, the emigration pattern resumes, but only about 26,247 people left in net terms. This emigration was much more moderate than in the 2011-2017 period,” said the head of the study house.
Caraballo explained that “this could perhaps be attributed to the fact that the pandemic in the United States served to dissuade Puerto Rican emigration and that Puerto Rico’s post-Maria economic recovery has retained part of those who were thinking of migrating. However, more analysis is needed to explain these peculiar dynamics.”