Released: October 15, 2010
Latinos in the 2010 Elections: New Mexico
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in New Mexico.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in New Mexico.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in New Mexico’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in New Mexico is the ninth-largest in the nation. Some 895,000 Hispanics reside in New Mexico, 2% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- The population in New Mexico is 45% Hispanic, the highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 525,000 eligible Hispanic voters in New Mexico—the eighth-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Four-in-ten (38%) of eligible voters in New Mexico are Latinos, the largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. Texas ranks second with 25%.
- Six-in-ten (59%) of Latinos in New Mexico are eligible to vote, ranking New Mexico first nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 81% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Three-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico (29%) are ages 18 to 29, less than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 23% of all New Mexico eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Some 6% of Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 4% of all New Mexico eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in Mexico are more likely to be native-born citizens (94%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. Two-in-ten of Latino eligible voters in New Mexico (21%) have not completed high school. That was less than the rate for all Latino eligible voters—26%—but greater than the rate for U.S. eligible voters nationwide—13%.
- Homeownership. Seven-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico (71%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Similar shares of all eligible voters in New Mexico (64%) and all eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in New Mexico, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. White eligible voters in New Mexico outnumber Hispanic eligible voters—671,000 whites compared with 525,000 Hispanics. Hispanic eligible voters outnumber Native American eligible voters in New Mexico by more than 4 to 1—525,000 to 116,000.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white eligible voters in New Mexico. Among Latino eligible voters, 29% are ages 18 to 29 compared with 18% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white eligible voters in New Mexico. Some 21% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 8% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico are less likely than white eligible voters, but more likely than Native American eligible voters, to live in owner-occupied homes—71% versus 74% and 67%, 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 New Mexico 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)). ↩