It’s anticipated that roughly half of all people out-migrating from Puerto Rico as a result of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria, will come to New York state – and their economic future is uncertain, according to a Cornell University expert.
Warren Brown is a senior research associate at Cornell University, where he directs the Program on Applied Demographics and is the research director of the New York Census Research Data Center. Brown says it’s unclear if the Puerto Ricans in-migrating to the U.S. will be able to economically integrate into their new communities.
“We know that approximately half the persons that migrate from Puerto Rico in a ‘normal’ year move to New York state. We anticipate that roughly half of all the persons out-migrating from Puerto Rico as a result of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria will in-migrate to New York. What we don’t know is the total volume of the number of persons who will be out-migrating from Puerto Rico, only that it is likely to be immense. We don’t know if they will be able to economically integrate into the communities to which they migrate since they will be coming in such large numbers.
“How long will it be before Puerto Rico can rebound from the storm damage and even be able to accept return migrants? Will the migrants from Puerto Rico to New York City stay temporarily before moving to other areas in New York and the Northeast with better opportunities? We are confident that the movement to other areas will not break new ground, but rather follow the path of prior migrants from Puerto Rico, but now possibly in greater proportions than before.”