Why Puerto Rican emigrate to US and other foreign countries

Is there a correlation between the economic level and educational degree with the decision of leaving the island? A report made by Ports Authority in 2010 states that all passengers leaving the island represent a migratory movement of 31,000 people. The percentage of emigrants out of the labor force has risen between 2008 and 2010 by nearly 20%. The Puerto Rican people, who flee the country with no job, are still searching after arriving to the US. People who emigrate with a professional career such as: 1,206 with a managerial profession, 4,487 administrative or clerical works, 3,815 sales people, among others, are still searching for places to work after arriving.

True, the world has become to be composed of sedentary people seeking compliance from one place to live. Agriculture was part of the daily life of each individual long time ago. Over the years we noticed agriculture is not the job of the individual, but which became an industry that channels the fruits and deliver them to families without the need for home gardens. This dilemma brings back the nomadic way of life. The individual traveling from a land of limited resources to where those resources abound. In our times a person is by nature nomadic, but we called it migrant. The migrant: A person moving from their own country to another, usually to work on it on a stable or temporary work.[1]

The migration of Puerto Ricans has been linked to economic and social decline since the 1950’s, where nearly half the country left the island for a better future in the North America continent. Migratory movements have their effect on society, education, health and the economy in both countries producing migrants as those receiving immigrants. This work attempts to capture the main reasons Puerto Ricans output to the U.S. In addition, to investigate where in U.S. are located all these people and if emigration helped stimulate or disadvantage their socioeconomic situations.

The U.S. Census Bureau held annually a report which compiles data based on geographic location, allowing you to see the mobilization of such communities. These studies quantify the number of people who migrated from P.R. to U.S. soil. I will be using the relevant information in 2010 that provides the PRCS or Puerto Rico Community Survey. The migrants estimated at U.S. are calculated based on the population census in two different years for an indirect estimate of the balance between emigrants and immigrants.

The table shows migratory movement for a given year, for us to establish a relationship with socio-economic activity. We note that in mid-2005 the migration began to increase reaching its highest point in the same way in mid-2006. This migration problem, in which nearly 70,000 people left our country, is a problem caused by the government and the section 936. The section 936 that grant an incentive to foreign manufacturing plants begin in 1996 and ended in 2006 has had a significant impact on manufacturing employment. The manufacturing sector has been, since 1940, the cornerstone of the economy of Puerto Rico and has domino effect on other important economic sectors.This situation, together with additional factors, has caused the rapid disappearance of manufacturing jobs. Between May 1996 and March 2004, this activity has lost 34,000 jobs, a decline of 21%. Foreign investors have found that Puerto Rico is unattractive without Section 936. (Amato, 2006). By 2010 the average employment in manufacturing sector was 88,300, a net change of -3.7 when compared to the year 2009[2].

In 2010 the median age of emigrants to the United States was 28 years, the same as immigrants. The migrants, according to data from 2005 have been between the ages of 26-30, representing young workers at the peak of their productive years. When these skilled people leave to another country for a better economic situation, it generates a vacuum which is filled with immigrants. The problem is that the ages of those who come to the island at the moment of productive age are 28 year or older, but in the past the average age was as high near 34. We can see from the chart the problem with immigrants and an overall increased in age as year passed. Therefore, we have an increase in people less productive. Having a society with high levels of age creates a population decline.

The greatest reduction in population was experienced at the age of 19 years or less, with a decline of 162,000 people, while in the 20 to 39 years, the population was reduced from 66,000 individuals, with a combined decrease of 128,000 people in these two age groups. However, the populations of 40 and older experienced increases, of which the most significant was the group of 70 years and older with an increase of 83,000 people. While the group aged 40 to 59 had a population increase of 62,000 units. This change in the demographic structure will have social, economic and fiscal social implications[3].

Some 4.1 million of Puerto Rican origin resided in the 50 U.S. states in 2007, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. That is a slightly greater number than the population of Puerto Rico itself in 2007, which was 3.9 million. Puerto Ricans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as of Puerto Rican origin; this means either they themselves are Puerto Rican immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to Puerto Rico.

These migrants came to the United States and dissipated in certain states, which give them a place to call home. 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. Most immigrants ended up in the northeast of the country, accounting for 55.6% of total Puerto Ricans. We can find many people in the state of New York with about a million people of whom the majority are between 18 and 39 years of age. In the southern hemisphere, Florida has drawn on Puerto Rican immigrants who make up 17%. Also in the list of the largest recipients of Puerto Ricans states are: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California, among others states. Most of these people do not complete college degrees and are condemned to work under supervision and not be suitable for senior management positions.

The stateside Puerto Rican community has usually been characterized as being largely poor and part of the urban underclass in the United States. Studies and reports over the last fifty years or so have documented the high poverty status of this community[4]. In 2002, the average individual income for Stateside Puerto Ricans was $33,927, compared to $48,687 for non-Latino Whites. Stateside Puerto Ricans have a family poverty rate of 23 percent, compared to 6 percent for non-Latino Whites and 45 percent for Puerto Rico. The same report concluded that 21 percent of Stateside Puerto Ricans are in professional-managerial occupations, compared to 36 percent of non-Latino Whites. While the Stateside Puerto Rican community has been portrayed as a largely impoverished population, it currently is much more socioeconomically diverse. It has, for example, a small but numerically, if not proportionately, growing middle class. (Rivera-Batiz and Santiago 1996: 128-131). The role of the Stateside Puerto Rican community in the economic development of Puerto Rico has been underestimated and requires further

study and support. The aggregate income of Stateside Puerto Ricans exceeds that of Puerto Rico, and Stateside Puerto Ricans probably send to Puerto Rico close to $1 billion (if not more) a year in family remittances, in addition to investments in businesses, housing, land and other areas.[5]

For many this is the famous historic exodus brain drain, but certainly many of those who leave are professionals trained in the island, the profile of the migrant is not very different from the rest of the population.

However, the low population only represents less federal funding for the Island. Population drain means less people who to provide services, but also fewer contributions for government. A reduction in population results in fewer people earning income, fewer consumers and fewer taxpayers.

Today, the people of Puerto Rico are still living in the bubble of prosperity that we enjoy in the 1990s and early 2000s. That life full of high-cost housing, shopping malls, and luxury cars. Today many do not know or have gone hungry, many dream that things will get better on their own, that’s the problem. In addition, we have a government agency that agrees and prefers to spend millions on referendums ghosts, than improving our real problems.

Since a little before 2010, we have more Puerto Ricans living outside the island. Politicians in their government programs have completely ignored this phenomenon, ignoring those who are going away. The goal should be to make the most, both those who are here and those who are and wherever in the world.