Migration from Puerto Rico to the United States during Austerity and Disaster, 2000-2020

Awarded Scholars:
Elizabeth Fussell, Brown University
Narayan Sastry, University of Michigan
Todd Gardner , United States Census Bureau
Project Date:
Aug 2020
Award Amount:

The original grant of $134,785 was supplemented by a second grant of $20,980.

For decades, Puerto Ricans, who are United States citizens and free to move throughout the country, have migrated between the island and the mainland seeking to improve their economic and social wellbeing. Since 2000, two shocks to Puerto Rico’s economy – a 2006 fiscal crisis and a 2017 hurricane – have increased incentives for out-migration. Sociologists Elizabeth Fussell and Narayan Sastry, in collaboration with Census Bureau statistician Todd Gardner, will create a longitudinal data set on Puerto Ricans. Using secure data technology, they will link records for the 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses and the Puerto Rico and American Community Surveys. The PIs will mine this data to investigate how economic and environmental shocks affect the migration probabilities and outcomes for Puerto Ricans.


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