"Hispanics" in Puerto Rico?

A Demographic Portrait of Hispanics in Puerto Rico
By The Pew Hispanic Center

The 2010 U.S. Census counted 3.7 million Hispanics living in Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States. This was down from 3.8 million in 2000.


By contrast, in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (D.C.), the population of Puerto Rican-origin Hispanics increased from 3.4 million in 2000 to 4.6 million in 2010, surpassing Puerto Rico’s Hispanic population. Nearly one-third of Puerto Rican-origin Hispanics in the 50 states and D.C. were born in Puerto Rico, according to Pew Hispanic Center tabulations from the 2009 American Community Survey.

Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth. But because Puerto Rico, like Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is not part of the 50 states or D.C., those who reside in Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote for President or to elect a voting member of the U.S. Congress. Those who move from Puerto Rico to live in the 50 states and the District of Columbia can vote in federal elections.

This profile compares the demographic, income, and economic characteristics of Hispanics living in Puerto Rico with the characteristics of Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin living in the 50 states and D.C as well as with all Hispanics living in the 50 states and D.C. These profiles are based on tabulations from the 2009 Puerto Rico Community Survey and the 2009 American Community Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center.

"Hispanics" in Puerto Rico?

The Puerto Rican Body Politic

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite speaks during a debate in the House Chambers in Washington in this file photo. (ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO / March 20, 2005)

In a stunning collapse of historical, cultural and intellectual memory Ginny Brown-Waite calls residents of Puerto Rico “foreign citizens.”

“. . . The bill sends hundreds of millions of dollars to people who do not pay federal income taxes, including residents of Puerto Rico and territories like Guam. I do not believe American taxpayer funds should be sent to foreign citizens who do not pay taxes. Americans want an economic stimulus for Dunnellon, Brooksville and Clermont, not for San Juan or Hagatna. As the legislation moves forward, it must be changed to ensure that only federal taxpaying American citizens receive rebate checks.”

Dead Citizenship: Guam residents received citizenship in 1950. Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917 when the U.S. needed additional “bodies” at the end of WWI.

The Puerto Rican Body Politic