This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Illinois.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.3

Hispanics in Illinois’s Eligible Voter Population

Population and Electorate in the United States and Illinois, 2012
  • The Hispanic population in Illinois is the fifth largest in the nation. About 2.1 million Hispanics reside in Illinois, 4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
  • Illinois’s population is 16% Hispanic, the 10th largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
  • There are 846,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois—the sixth largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
  • Some one-in-ten Illinois eligible voters (9%) are Hispanic, the 11th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
  • Some 40% of Hispanics in Illinois are eligible to vote, ranking Illinois 29th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, more than three-quarters (78%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.

Characteristics of Eligible Voters

Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Illinois and the United States, 2012
  • Age. About one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois (34%) are ages 18 to 29, about the same as the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all Illinois eligible voters and all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
  • Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois, 29% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is greater than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., 9% of all eligible voters in Illinois and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall.
  • Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. About seven-in-ten (71%) Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois are of Mexican origin, 15% are of Puerto Rican origin, and 13% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 27% are of some other Hispanic origin.
  • Educational Attainment. About one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Illinois (24%) have not completed high school, more than twice the 10% of all Illinois eligible voters who have not completed high school and about the same as the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
  • Homeownership. About two-thirds of Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois (65%) live in owner-occupied homes, greater than the 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Illinois (71%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.

Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Illinois, by Race and Ethnicity

Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Illinois and the United States, by Race and Ethnicity, 2012
  • Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois by more than 7 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by almost 2 to 1. The number of Hispanic eligible voters is about triple the number of Asian eligible voters.
  • Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Asian eligible voters in Illinois. Some 34% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters, 26% of black eligible voters and 19% of Asian eligible voters.
  • Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white, black and Asian eligible voters in Illinois. Some 24% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 7% of white eligible voters, 17% of black eligible voters and 7% of Asian eligible voters.
  • Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (65%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (44%) in Illinois, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (77%) or Asian (75%) eligible voters.