3.05.2007

The PR Exodus Continues

A member of The Boricua Diaspora Group posted Facts About The Puerto Rican Migration During 1995-2000 on the group's discussion board.

Puerto Ricans are leaving Puerto Rico in record numbers--and increasingly the people are from the island's professional class. Unfortunately, the post did not include a link to the study, but the claims square with data from here and here.

The response of the governor, Anibal Acevedo Vila, is lackadaisal and irresponsible. Acevedo attributes people leaving the island to the ebb and flow of migratory patterns--as if those patterns aren't the direct result of the horrendously poor economic decisions of the island's governors and legislative leaders.

Facts About The Puerto Rican Migration During 1995-2000

Studies conducted by the Puerto Rico Planning Board concur that many people now move between the Island and the mainland for non-economic reasons, such as retiring, reuniting with family members, studying, and searching for a better quality of life, rather than simply finding a job. This is particularly true for Island-born professionals resettling in Florida, California, and Texas.

In the early 1990s more than 40 percent of all graduates from medical schools in Puerto Rico were living in the United States. More recently, the Island's press has widely debated the growing exodus of nursing personnel. In 2002, more than 1,300 Puerto Rican nurses applied to practice their profession in Florida.

The outflow of well-educated and skilled workers has steadily increased over the past two decades. Higher wages, better working conditions, opportunities for occupational advancement, and the promise of a better life often attract middle-class migrants from the Island, as well as the mainland. The American dream of owning a house in the suburbs is also a powerful incentive for moving abroad.

The US Census Bureau reported that 242,973 Puerto Ricans moved to the continental United States during the years 1995-2000.