Population Studies

Population Studies

Estimating the Migration of Puerto Ricans to Florida Using Flight Passenger Data

Florida has been a primary destination for migrants from Puerto Rico for many years. Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, caused extensive damage on the island. In its aftermath, thousands of Puerto Ricans have moved to the U.S. mainland, many of them to Florida. Estimating the size of this inflow to Florida is no easy task, given that no direct measures of migration are available. Various indicators such as flight passenger arrivals, individuals served at multi-agency resource centers, school enrollments, FEMA applications, U.S.

Based on flight passenger data analysis, an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Puerto Ricans moved to Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Growth of the Puerto Rican Population in Florida and on the U.S. Mainland

  • Ying Wang, PhD, Research Demographer, Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
  • Stefan Rayer, PhD, Population Program Director, Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
Due to geographic proximity and sizable Puerto Rican communities already present in the state, Florida has become a primary destination for in-migrants from Puerto Rico in recent years.

Florida's Population Center Migrates through History

Throughout history Florida’s population has continuously repositioned itself.  At the time of the first census in 1830, Florida had only 34,730 people, concentrated primarily in the Panhandle region.  By 2010 the population had grown to 18,801,310 people, concentrated in the central and southern peninsula.  This study will track the movement of the geographic center of Florida’s population from 1830 to 2010.  This movement will be illustrated by calculating and mapping the centroid of Florida’s total population.

The changing pattern of Florida's population can be visualized with tables, graphs or maps. An alternative representation of the geographic change is a map that tracks the movement of the center point of the population through time. This is called the cen

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