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Emigration has characterized historically the life of Portuguese people, determining for ever the personality of the islands.


According to some experts, its origin goes back to the beginning of the islands settlement. However, regular emigration began only in the 17th century.


The main destinations of Azorean emigration were Brazil, United States, Bermuda, Hawaii and Canada.


The first emigration was to Brazil, specifically to South Brazil in 1847, with about 6 thousand people. Emigration to this country was changeable. After this period, a great migratory flux occurred to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, during the final years of the 19th century, the first years and up to half of the 20th century.


Chronologically, the United States appeared as the second destination, during the second half of the 18th century. Nevertheless, it was only in the middle of the 19th century that it became a preferential destination.


Bermuda was the third great destination of Azorean emigration. The year 1849 determines the beginning of emigration from the Azores to this North Atlantic archipelago. If on one hand, emigration to the other countries was from all the Azorean islands, on the other hand, in the case of Bermuda was mainly from São Miguel.


Hawaii, a State of the Pacific of the United States, was during the late years of the 19th century an option for many Azoreans. Life conditions in the archipelago and the economic crisis at the time, provoked by the decline of the orange production and the decreasing of commerce, led many Azoreans to Hawaii, where the available work conditions were really attractive. Despite the geographical and economical conditions, Hawaii attracted many people from São Miguel Island.


Canada was the last great destination of Azorean emigration. It began mainly in 1953 and it was possible only through bilateral agreements between Portugal and Canada, in regards to the entrance of emigrants in that country. In spite of being a very recent option, the number of Azorean emigrants was considerably high.


In the graphic, we can see that emigration from the archipelago recorded high numbers, to the United States, Canada and Bermuda, between the 60’s until our days.  


Emigrants from the Azores between 1960 and 2003
Azorean Emigration: Comparative Graphic

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