European Immigrationpuerto Rican Genealogy

The first wave of Puerto Rican immigrants built communities throughout New York City, including one in Brooklyn in the 1920s in the area west of the Navy Yard along the river. As the community’s population grew, they began to expand into Williamsburg in the area consisting of South First through Fifth Streets. Puerto Rico is a mixture of the original Taino Indian culture, the white European Spanish who came from Spain, and the negro slaves they brought from Africa. This tri-racial mix of people have been recorded in various ways throughout Puerto Rican History. Italian Immigration to Puerto Rico Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.

European Immigrationpuerto Rican Genealogy Society


European Immigrationpuerto Rican Genealogy Traditions

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The history of immigration into the United States from Puerto Rico is unique when compared to other countries. Technically it is not a history of immigration, but a history of migration since Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory since 1898. This also means that the people of
Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens and are allowed to move in and out of the country as a normal citizen would.


When Puerto Rico first became a U.S. territory few people from the island came over to the mainland. Much of this was due to an economic depression that the island went through in the early 20th century. At this time many people were too poor to be able to afford the boat ride to the U.S. After WWII ended in 1945, the migration rate of Puerto Rican’s coming to the mainland skyrocketed and many of them ended up in New York and Florida. By 1946 there were more than 50,000 Puerto Ricans living in New York City, whereas in 1945 there were only 13,000. This was just the beginning of a great migration with more than 25,000 Puerto Ricans coming over every year. In 1953, more than 69,000 Puerto Ricans came to the U.S., which was a record breaking year, and by the mid-1960s there were more than a million Puerto Ricans living on the mainland. Some of the reasons that are speculated to be the cause of this migration are that transportation into the U.S. became affordable, U.S. companies recruited laborers from the island to work in their factories, and the economic status of Puerto Rico caused people to leave the island in search of new opportunities.

As of 2011, there is an estimated 4.9 million Puerto Ricans who live in the United States and this makes them the second largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States.

European Immigrationpuerto Rican Genealogy

Representation of Puerto Ricans in the U.S.

Will Fernando