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Latinos in the 2012 Election: Oregon

This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Oregon.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3

Hispanics in Oregon’s Eligible Voter Population

  • The Hispanic population in Oregon is the 19th largest in the nation.4 About 452,000 Hispanics reside in Oregon, 0.9% of all Hispanics in the United States.
  • Oregon’s population is 12% Hispanic, the 14th largest Hispanic population share nationally.
  • There are 146,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon—ranking 21st in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
  • Some 5% of Oregon eligible voters are Hispanic, the 20th largest Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
  • Less than one-in-three (32%) Hispanics in Oregon are eligible to vote, ranking Oregon 39th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 80% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.

 Characteristics of Eligible Voters

  • Age. Nearly four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon (38%) are ages 18 to 29, above the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 20% of all Oregon eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
  • Citizenship and Nativity. Two-in-ten (20%) Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. This rate is much higher than that of all eligible voters in the state (5%) and in the U.S. (8%).
  • Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. More than three-quarters (76%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon are of Mexican origin; another 5% are of Puerto Rican origin and 2% are Cuban. Among all Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 5% are Cuban.
  • Educational Attainment. Nearly one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Oregon (23%) have not completed high school, slightly less than Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S. (25%) but more than double the 9% rate of all Oregon eligible voters.
  • Homeownership. About half of Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon (51%) live in owner-occupied homes, below the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Oregon (66%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes. 

Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Oregon, by Race and Ethnicity

  • Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Oregon by more than 16 to 1. Hispanic eligible voters outnumber Asian eligible voters by about 2 to 1 and black eligible voters by about 3 to 1.
  • Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Asian and white eligible voters in Oregon. Some 38% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 28% of black eligible voters, 22% of Asian eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
  • Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do Asian, black and white eligible voters in Oregon. Some 23% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 14% of Asian eligible voters, 13% of black eligible voters and 8% of white eligible voters.
  • Homeownership.Hispanic eligible voters (51%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (38%) eligible voters in Oregon, but they are less likely to do so than Asian (70%) or white (67%) eligible voters in Oregon.
  1. Eligible voters are defined as U.S. citizens ages 18 and older. Eligible voters are not the same as registered voters. To cast a vote, in all states except North Dakota, an eligible voter must first register to vote.
  2. The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are used interchangeably. References to other races and ethnicities are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations.
  3. This statistical profile of eligible voters is based on the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. The data used for this statistical profile come from the 2010 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), representing a 1% sample of the U.S. population. Like any survey, estimates from the ACS are subject to sampling error and (potentially) measurement error. More information is available on ACS sampling strategy and associated error.
  4. Rankings for “Percent of Hispanic population eligible to vote” are based on the District of Columbia and the 46 states whose Hispanic samples in the 2010 ACS are large enough to generate reliable estimates. All other rankings are based on the District of Columbia and the 50 states.

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