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Orlando top spot for residents leaving Puerto Rico

ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida was the top destination of Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland two years ago, according to new U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday.

More than 7,500 Puerto Ricans moved to the Orlando area in 2013, and most of them, about 6,200 Puerto Ricans, came from San Juan, the island's capital, according to the Census Bureau.

The New York metro area was the next most popular destination, and it was the more popular choice for residents of Puerto Rico's smaller cities.

Of the 6,800 Puerto Ricans who moved to the New York metro area, 3,800 residents were from San Juan and 3,000 residents were from the cities of Ponce, Aguadilla-Isabela, Arecibo, Guayama, San German and Mayaguez.

Puerto Ricans have been leaving the island in the wake of a severe economic crisis. Unlike the previous "Great Migration" from the 1950s, more Puerto Ricans are choosing to move to Florida over the Northeast.

The other top destinations for San Juan residents leaving Puerto Rico were South Florida and metro Tampa.

Overall, the largest migration into Florida came from Caribbean residents moving to South Florida, with almost 27,500 former Caribbean residents moving to an area that encompasses Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

New Yorkers made up the largest domestic migration to a Florida metro area, with more than 22,000 New York-area residents moving to South Florida.

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