Home » Events News » News » A New Report Estimates that more than 135,000 Puerto Ricans have Relocated to U.S. Six Months after Hurricane Maria

A New Report Estimates that more than 135,000 Puerto Ricans have Relocated to U.S. Six Months after Hurricane Maria

 

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (Centro) estimates that 24,406 Puerto Rican K-12 students have already enrolled

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2018

Contact: Deborah Raskin (212) 843-8028 draskin@rubenstein.com

In light of the six month anniversary of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (Centro) has released two new reports that estimate the total number of Puerto Ricans enrolled in schools districts across the country and uses these estimates to project the total exodus from Puerto Rico.

Report: Puerto Rican Post-Maria Relocation by States
In this report, researchers from Centro used school enrollment data from Florida, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois school districts and FEMA’s claims records of change of addresses to assess the population flows and relocation from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland.

The school enrollment data indicates that a total of 24,406 Puerto Rican students enrolled in stateside school districts, with the largest proportion of students concentrating in Florida’s school districts. A total of 11,554 students enrolled in Florida, 2,874 in Pennsylvania, 2,556 in Massachusetts, 2,218 in New York, 1,827 in Connecticut, 886 in New Jersey, and 607 in Illinois. Data for the study was collected between December 1 and February 22, 2017 by school districts. More details of student enrollment by counties can be found in the report Puerto Rican Post-Maria Relocation by States.

School enrollment data is used to project total population relocation by states. More than 135,000 Puerto Ricans so far have relocated stateside from the island after the hurricane. Florida has become the preferred destination of Puerto Rican migrants, with an estimated 56,477 Puerto Ricans relocating to the state. Population estimates based on student enrollment data and FEMA’s claims records of change of addresses confirm the dispersion of the relocation from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland. Overall, the findings from the FEMA data show that Puerto Ricans have dispersed throughout the U.S. to a large extent following existing population nodes, showing significant migration to the south but also to traditional settlements in the Northeast. More details of relocation by counties can be found in the report Puerto Rican Post-Maria.

The data presented in this report is the first empirical confirmation of the magnitude of the post-Maria exodus from Puerto Rico.

“The depopulation of the island is the most noteworthy factor hindering economic recovery Puerto Rico,” said Dr. Edwin Melendez, Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. “Hunter College and CUNY have renewed our efforts to raise awareness and support among the American public about the ongoing humanitarian crisis and what we can all do to support over three million American citizens in need. Centro’s estimates of the impact of the population exodus from Puerto Rico on school districts nationwide are alarming and point to the urgent need to both rebuild the island's economy and to prepare schools and support services for these students in need.”

About Hunter College:
Hunter College, located in the heart of Manhattan, is the largest college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Founded in 1870, it is also one of the oldest public colleges in the country and famous for the diversity of its student body, which is as diverse as New York City itself. Most Hunter students are the first in their families to attend college and many go on to top professional and graduate programs, winning Fulbright scholarships, Mellon fellowships, National Institutes of Health grants, and other competitive honors. More than 23,000 students currently attend Hunter, pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 170 areas of study. The 1,700 full- and part-time members of Hunter's faculty are unparalleled. They receive prestigious national grants, contribute to the world's leading academic journals, and play major roles in cutting-edge research. They are fighting cancer, formulating public policy, expanding our culture, enhancing technology, and more.

About Centro:
The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) is the nation’s leading university-based institution devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States. Centro is dedicated to understanding, preserving and sharing the Puerto Rican experience in the United States. Centro also collects, preserves and provides access to library resources documenting Puerto Rican history and culture. We seek to link scholarship to social action and policy debates and to contribute to the betterment of our community and the enrichment of Puerto Rican studies. # # #