Population growth among Latinos, blacks and Asians between 2004 and 2008 changed the demographic composition of eligible voters. In 2008, while nearly three-quarters of all eligible voters were white (73.4%), a record share were non-white (26.6%). Overall, there were 206 million eligible voters in 2008.6

  • Latinos increased their share of eligible voters from 8.2% in 2004 to 9.5% in 2008, an increase of 1.3 percentage points. In 2008, 19.5 million Hispanics were eligible to vote, up from 16.1 million in 2004.
  • The number of Latino eligible voters increased 21.4% between 2004 and 2008, the large
  • The number of Latino eligible voters grew faster between 2004 and 2008 than the growth in the adult Latino population overall – 21.4% versus 13.7%.
  • Blacks increased their share of eligible voters from 11.6% in 2004 to 11.8% in 2008. Overall, 24.3 million blacks were eligible to vote in 2008, up from 22.9 million in 2004.
  • The number of black eligible voters increased 6.4% between 2004 and 2008, second only to Latinos.
  • The share of eligible voters who were Asian increased from 3.3% in 2004 to 3.4% in 2008. There were 6.9 million Asian eligible voters in 2008, up from 6.5 million in 2004.
  • The number of Asian eligible voters increased 5.9% between 2004 and 2008.
  • The share of eligible voters who were white fell from 75.2% in 2004 to 73.4% in 2008. More than 151 million whites were eligible to vote in 2008, up from 148.2 million in 2004.
  • The number of white eligible voters increased 2.1% between 2004 and 2008.
  • The share of eligible voters who are under 30 also increased between 2004 and 2008. Young people ages 18 to 29 represented 21.4% of eligible voters in 2008, up from 20.9% in 2004 (Kirby and Kawashima-Ginsberg, 2009).