Latinos in the 2010 Elections: Massachusetts
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in Massachusetts.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in Massachusetts.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Massachusetts’ Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Massachusetts is the 15th-largest in the nation. Some 557,000 Hispanics reside in Massachusetts.
- The population in Massachusetts is 9% Hispanic, the 19th-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 256,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Massachusetts—the 11th-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 6% of eligible voters in Massachusetts are Latinos, the 17th-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Less than half (46%) of Latinos in Massachusetts are eligible to vote, ranking Massachusetts 17th 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 of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts (34%) are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Massachusetts eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. One-quarter of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts (24%) are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 9% of all Massachusetts eligible voters. A similar share of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts (76%) and Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%) are native-born citizens.
- Educational Attainment. Three-in-ten of Latino eligible voters in Massachusetts (30%) have not completed high school. That was greater than the rate for all Latino eligible voters—26%—and the rate for U.S. eligible voters nationwide—13%.
- Homeownership. Only 36% of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts live in owner-occupied homes. This is nearly half the homeownership rate of all eligible voters in Massachusetts (69%) and eligible voters nationwide (70%).
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Massachusetts, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Latino eligible voters outnumber black and Asian eligible voters in Massachusetts—256,000 versus 215,000 and 147,000.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than other major racial groups in Massachusetts. One-third of Latino eligible voters in Massachusetts (34%) are ages 18 to 29 compared with 29% of black eligible voters, 26% of Asian eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white and black eligible voters in Massachusetts. Some 30% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 16% of black eligible voters and 8% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts are less likely than white and black eligible voters to live in owner-occupied homes—36% versus 73% 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 Massachusetts 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)). ↩