Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony for almost four centuries until it was ceded by Spain to the United States following the Spanish-American War (1898). Today, it remains geographically and culturally part of Latin America despite its close ties to the United States. Almost all residents speak Spanish as their primary language.
Puerto Rican migration was facilitated after 1917, when U.S. citizenship was granted to all residents of the island. However, this change of legal status did not immediately produce a wave of migration. The largest migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States took place in 1945, after the end of World War II and after the island's transition from a plantation economy into a platform for export and factory production.
Puerto Rico is only one example of the larger pattern of workers’ migration from colonial or underdeveloped parts of the world to metropolitan countries. It is similar to the migration of North African workers to France; of Indian, Pakistani, and West Indian workers to Great Britain; and of Turkish workers to Germany.
Why do people migrate?
How does migration affect the migrant and the community into which they migrate?
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