A Profile of Puerto Ricans

Jul 13, 2009

Some 4.1 million Puerto Ricans resided in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in 2007, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.1 That is a slightly greater number than the population of Puerto Rico itself in 2007, which was 3.9 million. (Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory but all references in this statistical profile to the United States refer only to the 50 states and the District of Columbia.)

Most Puerto Ricans in the United States—2.7 million in all—were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Additionally, one-third of the Puerto Rican population in the U.S.—1.4 million—was born in Puerto Rico. People born in Puerto Rico are also considered native born because they are U.S. citizens by birth. A small number of Puerto Ricans—48,000—were born outside of the U.S. or Puerto Rico and were not U.S. citizens by birth. They are considered foreign born.

Puerto Ricans are the second-largest population of Hispanic origin residing in the United States, accounting for 9.1% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2007. Mexicans constituted 29.2 million, or 64.3%, of the Hispanic population.

On average, Puerto Ricans are older than Hispanics generally but they are younger than the U.S. population. They are less likely to be married than either Hispanics overall or the U.S. population overall. The majority (55.9%) of Puerto Rican women ages 15 to 44 who had a birth in the 12 months prior to the survey were unmarried. The comparable share for all Hispanic women was 38.1% and the figure for all U.S. women was 33.4%.

Among Puerto Ricans ages 5 and older living in the U.S., most do not speak English at home. Some 20.5% of Puerto Ricans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 38.8% of all Hispanics. Puerto Ricans are concentrated in the Northeast, mostly in New York, and in the South, mostly in Florida.

Read the full report A Profile of Puerto Ricans on the Pew Research Center's Web site.

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