Florida Tops New York as Home for Migrating Puerto Ricans

Feb 5, 2013

Arlene Bonet settled in Orlando, Fla., after her Puerto Rico real estate business crashed. She's now working for a Puerto Rican cultural organization in Orlando, while her son and mother still live in her hometown, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
Credit John W. Poole/NPR

Florida has replaced New York as the primary destination for Puerto Ricans coming to the U.S. reports Greg Allen.

According to the most recent census, the 4.6 million Puerto Ricans living on the U.S. mainland now surpass those on the island of Puerto Rico.

For years, they've been migrating out of the U.S. Caribbean territory — many to escape the escalating crime rate and economic crisis.

In Osceola County, the population has tripled over the past two decades largely because of the migration. It's one of the nation's fastest growing areas, and about half of the population is Hispanic — most of them Puerto Rican.

In Kissimmee, south of Orlando, many of the signs are in Spanish, and some businesses resemble what you might find in a city like San Juan.

You can listen to Greg Allen's report on NPR and read more about his visit to the Puerto Rican communities that have formed in central Florida.