Majority of Puerto Ricans contemplate leaving the island, study finds

Majority of Puerto Ricans contemplate leaving the island, study finds

The participants of the study said the three best things about living on the island were the tropical climate, people, and family. (Image via Shutterstock).

By Mivette Vega

April 5, 2024

The younger generation is more dissatisfied with life on the island.

In an effort to understand how Puerto Rico’s residents view their prospects for growth, aspirations, and attitudes, the Center for Economic Renewal, Growth, and Excellence (CRECE by its Spanish initials) conducted a study in partnership with Gaither International, a marketing research firm.

The study consisted of focus group sessions across the island. Participants were divided into generational groups: Generation X (ages 41-57), Millennials (ages 27-42), and Generation Z (ages 16-20). 

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The younger generation is more dissatisfied in general. Among all participants, 63% have considered leaving Puerto Rico at some point, and 78% of that percentage are Generation Z.

Family is the main reason for staying on the island, 85% of the respondents say.

The participants said that three worst things about living in Puerto Rico were crime, government incompetence, and government corruption. 

The three best things about living on the island were the  tropical climate, people, and family.

Sixty-two percent of the participants said they lack financial freedom and live from paycheck to paycheck.

Sixty percent think the economy is staying the same or getting worse.

Regarding the possibility of starting a business, women are more willing to start a business with 42% open to the idea compared to 36% of men. Sixty-seven percent of participants agreed that starting a business on the island is difficult.

The majority of participants (59%) think success is driven by individual effort, persistence, and hard work.

Seventy-two percent of participants said that it’s important to have skills  to reach self sufficiency.

The government did not do so well in the study. Ninety-three percent of participants think the government spends too much money. 

RELATED: Puerto Rico’s infrastructure faces serious threat due to climate crisis

Sixty-six percent of participants don’t feel comfortable giving the government more control over their lives.  

Seventy-one percent think there’s a correlation between government control of the means of production and distribution of collective goods and corruption. 


  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

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