There is a tendency to think that Puerto Rican migration to the United States is a pattern that began in the mid-20th century. While it is true that the mass exodus of the 1940s and 1950s has yet to be exceeded, the presence of Puerto Ricans in various U.S. cities in fact dates back to the second half of the 19th century, considerably predating the Spanish-American War, and the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, when Spain was forced to cede its remaining colonies to the United States.
[Tabla 1] illustrates the population growth among Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States for the period of 1910-2000. The U.S. census categorizes Puerto Ricans as Hispanics or Latinos, a group whose U.S. population totaled 41.3 million in 2005. Puerto Ricans comprise approximately 9 percent of the total U.S. Latino population. If the population of the island of Puerto Rico were to be included in this total figure, Puerto Ricans would account for nearly 19 percent of those claiming Hispanic origin.
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