September 30, 2011

The Latino Electorate in 2010: More Voters, More Non-Voters

6.6million

The number of Latino eligible voters increased in 2010, from 13.2 million in 2000 to 21.3 million, but only 6.6 million actually voted in that year’s elections.

The number of Latino eligible voters increased in 2010, from 13.2 million in 2000 to 21.3 million. About 6.6 million Latinos voted in last year’s election -— a record for a midterm -— according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center. That made Latinos a larger share of the electorate in 2010 than in any previous midterm election, representing 6.9% of all voters, up from 5.8% in 2006. However, even though more Latinos than ever are participating in the nation’s elections, their representation among the electorate remains below their representation in the general population. In 2010, 16.3% of the nation’s population was Latino, but only 10.1% of eligible voters and fewer than 7% of voters were Latino.

The gap was driven by two demographic factors -— youth and non-citizenship. More than one third of Latinos (34.9%) are younger than the voting age of 18. And an additional 22.4% are of voting age, but are not U.S. citizens. As a result, the share of the Latino population eligible to vote is smaller than it is among any other group. Just 42.7% of the nation’s Latino population is eligible to vote, while more than three-in-four (77.7%) of whites, two-thirds of blacks (67.2%) and more than half of Asians (52.8%) are eligible to vote. However, even among eligible voters, Latino participation rates lag those of other groups. In 2010, 31.2% of Latino eligible voters say they voted, while nearly half (48.6%) of white eligible voters and 44.0% of black eligible voters said the same. Read More