An estimated 5.6 million Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin lived in the United States in 2017, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Puerto Ricans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin and lived in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia; this includes those who were born in Puerto Rico and those who trace their family ancestry to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Ricans are the second-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for about 10% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2017. (An additional 3.4 million people live in Puerto Rico.)
Since 2000, the Puerto Rican-origin U.S. population has increased 65%, growing from 3.4 million to 5.6 million over the period. At the same time, the population of those born in Puerto Rico and living in the 50 states and D.C. grew by 27%, from 1.3 million in 2000 to 1.6 million in 2017. By comparison, Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 36.6 million, or 62%, of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2017.
Puerto Rican-origin population in U.S. states and D.C., 2000-2017
The following key facts compare demographic and economic characteristics of the Puerto Rican-origin population in the U.S. with the characteristics of U.S. Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the 2017 American Community Survey. Key facts include:
- About 29% of Puerto Ricans who live in the 50 states and D.C. were born in Puerto Rico.
- About 16% of U.S. Hispanics ages 25 and older have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 19% of Puerto Ricans.
- Among Puerto Ricans ages 25 and older, 21% of those born in Puerto Rico have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 18% of those born in the 50 states and D.C.
- Among U.S. Hispanics, the median annual personal earnings for those ages 16 and older was $25,000, compared with $28,600 for Puerto Ricans.
- Looking at full-time, year-round workers, U.S. Hispanics earned less than Puerto Ricans ($34,000 vs. $40,000).
- The share of U.S. Hispanics who live in poverty is 19%, compared with 23% of Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states and D.C.
- About 24% of Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico live in poverty, as do 22% of Puerto Ricans born in the 50 states and D.C.
- The rate of homeownership among U.S. Hispanics (47%) is higher than the rate for Puerto Ricans in the 50 states and D.C. (38%).
- Among Puerto Ricans , rates of homeownership are similar for those born in the 50 states and D.C. and those born in Puerto Rico (39% vs. 36%).
Top states of residence
- The Puerto Rican population is concentrated in Florida (20%), New York (20%) and New Jersey (8%).
- The median ages of U.S. Hispanics (29) and Puerto Ricans (30) are lower than that of the U.S. population (38).
- U.S. Hispanics ages 18 and older are more likely to be married (46%) than Puerto Ricans (37%).
- Among Puerto Ricans ages 18 and older, those born in the 50 states and D.C. are less likely to be married than those born in Puerto Rico (33% vs. 44%).
- Some 7% of U.S. Hispanic women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to the July 2017 American Community Survey. Meanwhile, the rate for Puerto Rican women was 6%.
- About 70% of U.S. Hispanics ages 5 and older speak only English at home or speak English at least “very well,” compared with 83% of Puerto Ricans.
- Similarly, 64% of Hispanic adults are English proficient, as are 79% of Puerto Rican adults.
Download the data
Other U.S. Hispanic fact sheets
- Facts on U.S. Latinos
- Origin group-specific fact sheets:
Pew Research Center’s fact sheets on U.S. Latinos and the accompanying blog post examine the Latino population of the United States overall and by its 15 largest origin groups — Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Hondurans, Spaniards, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, Argentines and Panamanians. These sheets provide detailed geographic, demographic and economic characteristics for all Latinos and for each Latino origin group. They are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010, 2015 and 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2000 U.S. decennial census.
The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of more than 3 million addresses. It covers the topics previously covered in the long form of the decennial census. The ACS is designed to provide estimates of the size and characteristics of the resident population, which includes persons living in households and group quarters. For more details about the ACS, including the sampling strategy and associated error, see the 2010, 2015 or 2017 American Community Survey’s Accuracy Statement provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The specific data sources for these fact sheets are the 1% samples of the 2010, 2015 and 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) provided by the University of Minnesota and the 5% sample of the 2000 decennial census. IPUMS assigns uniform codes, to the extent possible, to data collected by the decennial census and the ACS from 1850 to 2017. For more information about IPUMS, including variable definition and sampling error, please visit the “IPUMS Documentation and User Guide.”
Due to differences in the way in which IPUMS and Census Bureau adjust income data and assign poverty status, data provided on these topics might differ from data that are provided by the Census Bureau.
For the purposes of these fact sheets, the foreign born include those persons who identified as naturalized citizens or non-citizens and are living in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Persons born in Puerto Rico and other outlying territories of the U.S. and who are now living in the 50 states or the District of Columbia are included in the U.S.-born population.