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.

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