Released: October 15, 2010
Latinos in the 2010 Elections: Illinois
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in Illinois.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in Illinois.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Illinois’ Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Illinois is the sixth-largest in the nation. Nearly 2 million Hispanics reside in Illinois, 4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- The population in Illinois is 15% Hispanic, the 10th-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 749,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Illinois—the sixth-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- More than 8% of eligible voters in Illinois are Latinos, the tenth-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Some 38% of Latinos in Illinois are eligible to vote, ranking Illinois 25th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 77% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. One-third (33%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois are ages 18 to 29, more than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 23% of all Illinois eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Three-in-ten (31%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 9% of all Illinois eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois are less likely to be native-born citizens (69%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. More than one-quarter (27%) of Latino eligible voters in Illinois have not completed high school. That was similar to the rate for all Latino eligible voters—26%—but greater than the rate for U.S. eligible voters nationwide—13%.
- Homeownership. Nearly seven-in-ten (68%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Somewhat greater shares of all eligible voters in Illinois (73%) and all eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Illinois, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Latino eligible voters are outnumbered by white eligible voters in Illinois by more than 8 to 1—749,000 Latinos to 6.4 million whites.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than other major racial groups in Illinois. One-third of Latino eligible voters in Illinois (33%) are ages 18 to 29 compared with 27% of black eligible voters, 22% of Asian eligible voters and 20% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white and black eligible voters in Illinois. Some 27% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 20% of black eligible voters and 9% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois are less likely than white eligible voters, but more likely than black eligible voters, to live in owner-occupied homes—68% versus 79% and 47%, respectively.
- 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. ↩
- The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are used interchangeably. References to “whites,” “blacks,” and “Asians” are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations. ↩
- This statistical profile of eligible voters in Illinois is based on the Census Bureau's 2008 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 2008 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. Information on the ACS sampling strategy and associated error is available at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/data_documentation/Accuracy/accuracy2008.pdf. An example of measurement error is that citizenship rates for the foreign born are estimated to be overstated in the Decennial Census and other official surveys, such as the ACS (see Jeffrey Passel. “Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing Naturalization,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2008)). ↩