Uncertain economy in Puerto Rico brings islanders to mainland

Edwin Melendez and Carlos Vargas, the editors of the book, say the main reason for the mass exodus from the island is the deepening economic crisis. (7/15/14)

THE BRONX - An uncertain economy in Puerto Rico means more islanders are moving to the mainland.

New York continues to be a major destination for Puerto Ricans coming from the island. They often settle in places like the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Edwin Melendez and Carlos Vargas, editors of a new book by the Center of Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, say the main reason for the mass exodus from the island is the deepening economic crisis.

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Vargas says New York is an attractive destination because of the jobs. About 352,000 Puerto Ricans out of the 3.5 million living in Puerto Rico are coming to New York.

According to the book, "Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium," though Puerto Ricans are moving to the northeast, the population in Florida is growing quickly as well. Melendez says that by the end of the decade, Florida will be the state with the highest population of Puerto Ricans.

Researchers expect the migration of Puerto Ricans from the island to the mainland to continue.

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