Florida top destination for Puerto Ricans moving last year

Florida

FILE – In this Sept. 10, 2018, file photo, Jose Santiago, a Puerto Rican evacuee after Hurricane Maria, stands in a temporary home in Orlando. Like Santiago, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans moved to Florida after Hurricane Maria to escape the devastation of the storm. Now, they’re facing a potentially destructive storm in the very place they sought refuge. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida was the top destination for Puerto Ricans moving to the U.S. mainland last year in the aftermath of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria.

Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that a third of the 133,500 Puerto Ricans who moved to the U.S. mainland last year went to the Sunshine State.

Other states where large numbers of Puerto Ricans settled last year were Pennsylvania, Texas and New York.

Puerto Rico already was losing people before the September 2017 blow from Maria. The island had been struggling through a recession, and the hurricane prompted tens of thousands of people to head for the mainland.

The bureau says the number of Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland in 2018 jumped by a third over the previous year.

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