Study shows low percentage of professionals leaving Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – A study by Professors Elsie Ruiz Santana and Ilia Rosario Nieves of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico (PUCPR) revealed that fewer than 25% of Puerto Ricans who leave for the U.S. mainland are professionals.
According to the statistics revealed, 22% of emigrants have university studies, while the remaining 78% are people with less academic education or didn’t graduate high school.
“We did an extensive review of the literature on migration, from 2000 to 2015. We reviewed documents from the United States Census and Puerto Rico State Department,” Ruiz Santana said during a press conference.
According to the study, from 2000 to 2015, a million people have left the island, most of who moved to Florida.
The majority of those who left were between the ages of 5 and 19 (29%) and 20-39 (42%). This group includes young couples and their children. People aged 40 to 59 account for 18%, while people older than 60 who have left make up about 11%.
To illustrate the rise in number of people leaving, in 2000 about 157 people left the island daily, while in 2015 about 244 board a plane headed stateside.
Specifically, in 2015, some 89,000 people emigrated and 30,189 arrived, resulting in nearly 58,000 people less on the island that year.
The study concludes that between 2005 and 2015, 761,935 Puerto Ricans have emigrated, while 303,859 have returned to the island. In addition, 53,983 people from European countries settled in Puerto Rico, leaving a total 357,842 settled on the island.
Women led the emigration numbers in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013. The study concludes that women are the majority of emigrants. The number of men was higher in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
The study found that the majority of emigrants have low incomes and have children.