Survey: Most Puerto Ricans in Florida have no plans to return to island

Survey: Most Puerto Ricans in Florida have no plans to return to island
The island is still recovering the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria (Image: YouTube screen grab via CBS)

[Ed. – Most are not relying on public benefits, according to the survey. The FIU professor leading the study said that although Puerto Ricans living in hotels are getting a lot of press, they’re only a very small percentage of the Puerto Rican demographic group in Florida.]

The study divided interviewees into four categories, based on the date of arrival in Florida: between 2017 and 2018; 2015 and 2016; 2012 and 2014; and before 2011. Participants were reached by phone in Orlando (61 percent), Tampa (22 percent), Miami (11 percent) and Fort Lauderdale (6 percent).

Nearly 18 percent said they did not speak English when they got to Florida, while 16.6 percent said they had trouble finding jobs, and 7.6 percent said they faced a higher cost of living.

The study also shows that among those who arrived after Hurricane Maria, between 2017 and 2018, Puerto Ricans who came to Florida were mostly highly educated: about 67 percent have university degrees and up to 7.4 percent had graduate degrees.

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Asked if they would return to the island, 43 percent said no. Asked how long they planned to stay in Florida, nearly 56 percent chose “indefinitely.” Only 1.2 percent said they were staying for three to six months and nearly 2 percent said they are staying for six months to a year.

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