Puerto Ricans are on their way to surpass Cubans and become the largest population group of Latinos in Florida by 2020, according to a new report from Hispanic Federation
and the ratings company Nielsen.
Currently, about 1 million Puerto Ricans live in the Sunshine State. From 2000 to 2014, the number of Puerto Ricans increased by 94 percent, while the number of Cubans in Florida increased by 60 percent. Orange County alone contains 18 percent of the Puerto Rican population of Florida.
"This dramatic influx of Puerto Ricans from the island is mainly in response to the commonwealth’s severe and ongoing economic crisis, solidifying what many are referring to as the Second Great Puerto Rican Migration; the first came after World War II," the report says. "Facing limited opportunities at home, individuals and families are choosing to relocate to Florida, in particular Central Florida, instead of the Northeast."
Politically, this could mean changes in Florida. Cubans in the state lean Republican, while Puerto Ricans typically go toward the Democratic side, but that's not set in stone. The report shows 30 percent of Latinos in Orlando, Tampa and Central Florida say they aren't affiliated with a political party, and in that same group, a third of them were not registered to vote.
The Hispanic Federation also notes that while Florida is known for its senior population, Latino communities in Orlando, Tampa and Central Florida are dominated by millennials. Close to half of the Latino population in Orlando is made up of young adults ages 18 to 34.