The island of Puerto Rico has witnessed the biggest population decline of this century after the "Great Migration" of 1950's and the 1960's, following the World War II.

More Puerto Ricans have left the financially disturbed island between 2010 and 2013, for better lives in the U.S. mainland, than in 1980's and 1990's.

According to a study published by the Pew Research Center, the number of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. mainland in 2012 was 4.9 million, higher than the total population of Puerto Rico, which stood at 3.5 million. Reports suggest that a higher and better job prospect in the mainland is one of the key reasons why the people are leaving the island.

The Pew Research Center analyzed the data of the U.S. Census Bureau and found that 42 percent of the migrants indicated job-related concerns for moving to the mainland. Around 38 percent of Puerto Ricans moved to the mainland due to family-related reasons.

The report also compares the Puerto Ricans migration to the overall immigrants who arrive in the U.S. from many foreign countries. The report suggests that about 41 percent of the total migrants to the U.S. come in search of better jobs and around 29 percent migrate to the U.S. mainland due to family reasons.

However, around 62 percent of Mexican-born immigrants entered the U.S. due to job concerns, while about 25 percent immigrated because of family reasons.

"Puerto Ricans who arrived from the island since 2000 are different from earlier waves of Puerto Rican migrants. More recent Puerto Rican arrivals from the island are also less well off than earlier migrants, with lower household incomes and a greater likelihood of living in poverty," per the Pew Research Center report.

The report also points out the fact that Puerto Ricans comprises the second largest Hispanic origin group in the U.S. mainland followed by third largest Hispanic group of two million Cubans and two million Salvadorans. Mexicans, with a total population of about 34 million in the U.S. mainland, are the largest Hispanic origin group in the country.

The report also suggests that overall Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. have a lower median homeownership and lower household income when compared to other Hispanic groups. However, overall Puerto Ricans, who are born in the mainland, have higher education level when compared to other Hispanic groups in the U.S.

The Pew Research Center also gives recommendations on how the government can improve the financial health of Puerto Rico, which can help the island retain its population.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.