Comunidades Açorianas
  History of the Azores

Historically, migration has characterized Portuguese life and has also unquestionably shaped the personality of these islands. According to historians, the origin of Azorean migration goes back to the beginning of the archipelago’s settlement. Systematic migration, however, only started in the 17th century.

Migration from the Azores had five basic destinations: Brazil, United States, Bermudas, Hawaii, and Canada. The first wave of Azorean migration was to Brazil, specifically southern Brazil, and occurred in 1747 when approximately six thousand individuals left the Islands. Migration to Brazil varied since then, although a great wave of migrants departed at the end of the 19th and the middle of the 20th centuries to the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The United States emerged chronologically as the second destination for Azoreans migrants in the second half of the 18th century. However, only in mid-19th century did the United States emerge as a destination of choice for Azoreans.

The Sandwich Islands or Hawaii, today a US Pacific State, was an important destination for many Azoreans at the end of the 19th century. General economic hardship in the Azorean archipelago as well as the collapse of the orange cash crop and its resulting impact on the economy, caused many Azoreans to migrate to Hawaii, which offered attractive working conditions.

The Pacific islands became a magnet for migrants from São Miguel, despite Hawaii’s widely different Geographicalal and cultural realities from those of the Azores. Canada was the last great destination for Azorean migrants. Systematic migration to Canada started in 1953 and was only made possible by bilateral agreements between Portugal and Canada, allowing Portuguese migrants to enter that North American country. Despite the recent nature of this migration, the number of Azoreans who actually left for Canada is very high.

Azorean communities around the world:

  • Bermuda
  • State of California
  • State of Massachusetts
  • State of Rhode Island
  • State of Santa Catarina
  • State of São Paulo
  • State of Rio de Janeiro
  • State of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Hawaii
  • Province of Alberta
  • Province of British Columbia
  • Province of Manitoba
  • Province of Ontário
  • Province of Québèc
  • Uruguai

    More information:

Governo Regional dos Açores