They form the second largest Hispanic or Latino group in the United States, and contain the second largest group of White Hispanic and Latino Americans. Most PuertoRicans ultimately descend from a combination of Europeans, especially Spaniards, Black Africans and the Indigenous Taino or Arawak peoples.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory("Commonwealth") of the United States and the residents of the island have been United States citizens since 1917 through an Act of the United States Congress (see Jones-Shafroth Act). There are now close tofour million Puerto Ricans living stateside (the Diaspora), with reports that this number exceeds the number of the population in Puerto Rico for the first time in 2003. Despite the new demographictrends, New York City continues to be the home of the largest Puerto Rican community in the United States, but Puerto Ricans live in all 50 US states and territories.
While PuertoRican-Americans have a long and proud history of fighting against prejudice and ignorance in the United States, there is a longstanding concern that the people of Puerto Rico are not as informed as theyshould be about the history and challenges faced by their ancestors who have ventured Stateside since the mid-1800s. Recent dramatic demographic changes are occurring within the US Puerto Ricancommunity, making such a dialogue more relevant and critical than ever.