Puerto Rico, the happiest state

5.8 million Puerto Ricans live in states. Pew Research has a new report on this population. They included people born in Puerto Rico and currently living in a state as well as people born in states whose family came from Puerto Rico. The group increased 71% from 2000 to 2021 and is now the second largest group of Hispanic citizens in the United States.

28% of those surveyed were born in Puerto Rico. The same percentage said they had been living in a state for 10 years or less. Most had lived in a state for more than 10 years.

Where do they live?

The largest numbers of Puerto Ricans live in these states:

  • Florida
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts

How are they doing?

24% of Puerto Ricans age 25 or older have a college degree. This figure is higher than the average for Hispanic people in general living in the states. Of the Puerto Ricans surveyed, 23% of those born in Puerto Rico had college degrees and 25% of those born in a state. For Hispanics in general, the average is 20%.

Median annual income for Puerto Ricans was higher than for Hispanics in general. Puerto Ricans mean annual income was $34,000. For those working full time year-round, the average was $45,000. For Hispanic workers in general, the average was $30,000, with full-time workers earning $40,000.

In spite of having more education and higher incomes on average than other groups of Latino people in the states, Puerto Ricans were more likely to live in poverty. 21% of Puerto Ricans experienced poverty, compared with 18% of Hispanic citizens overall.

43% of Puerto Ricans living in the states own their homes, compared with 50% of Hispanic citizens in general.

What language do they speak?

83% of Puerto Ricans age 5 or older speaker English “very well.” Among those born in a state, 95% are fluent in English.

Among adults, the number of Puerto Ricans fluent in English is still very high, with 80% saying they speak English very well. 90% of those born in Puerto Rico continue to speak Spanish at home, while just 39% of those born in a state do so.


Puerto Ricans are the second largest Hispanic group in the states, but still make up just 9% of all Hispanics. People from Mexico account for 60% of the U.S. Hispanic population.



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