Discover why 32% of Puerto Ricans living in the US consider returning home

The government is studying what initiatives can be implemented to attract Puerto Ricans currently residing in the US back to the island to offset emigration in recent years and the island’s low birth rate, which has reached historic levels. (Image via Shutterstock).

By Mivette Vega

May 14, 2024

According to the study, the two biggest problems that the diaspora has with Puerto Rico are crime and the economy. Participants also mentioned health care, education, and unemployment.

Thirty-two percent of Puerto Ricans who participated in a study promoted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce would move back to the island if certain conditions improved.

The Chamber of Commerce of Puerto Rico commissioned the study from the research firm Ipsos to find out what drove thousands of Puerto Ricans to move to the US, mainly to Florida, in recent years, and what would make them return.

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Seven percent said that the possibility of returning to live on the island is very likely, while 25% said it is somewhat likely.

The survey focused on 400 Puerto Ricans who moved to the US in the last 10 years, as well as 291 who returned in the past five.

According to the study, the two biggest problems that the diaspora has with Puerto Rico are crime and the economy. Participants also mentioned health care, education, and unemployment.

Most Puerto Ricans who moved to the States have remained in the first state they moved to or have moved only once since arriving in the US.

The main states where they have moved are Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.

The two main reasons participants gave for leaving the island were to search for a better quality of life (41%) and job opportunities (39%).

The study revealed that 28% of participants said they were struggling in the US with higher costs, particularly in housing and insurance.

The government is studying what initiatives can be implemented to attract Puerto Ricans currently residing in the US back to the island to offset emigration in recent years and the island’s low birth rate, which has reached historic levels.

RELATED: Democrats push for Puerto Rico’s SNAP inclusion amidst Republican resistance

Chamber of Commerce President Ramón Pérez Blanco recently said in an interview with El Nuevo Día that there must be a clear and urgent public policy that reduces the cost of living and offers better tax treatment to individuals in their daily living.

Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, Manuel Cidre mentioned several economic indicators as positive aspects, such as the fact that 2023 was the year with the lowest average unemployment rate in the history of the island and economic growth. He also highlighted the presence on the island of 10 of the top 20 US pharmaceutical companies and that Puerto Rico is the US jurisdiction with the largest exports of pharmaceutical products.

Author

  • 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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