Released: October 15, 2010
Latinos in the 2010 Elections: North Carolina
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in North Carolina.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in North Carolina.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in North Carolina’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in North Carolina is the 11th-largest in the nation. Some 678,000 Hispanics reside in North Carolina.
- The population in North Carolina is 7% Hispanic, the 25th-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 138,000 eligible Hispanic voters in North Carolina—the 19th-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 2% of eligible voters in North Carolina are Latinos, the 35th-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Only two-in-ten (20%) of Latinos in North Carolina are eligible to vote, ranking North Carolina 51th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 78% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Three-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina (31%) are ages 18 to 29, equal to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide. By contrast, only 21% of all North Carolina eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Three-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina (31%) are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 3% of all North Carolina eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina are less likely to be native-born citizens (69%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. Two-in-ten of Latino eligible voters in North Carolina (22%) 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. Some 58% of Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. A greater share of all eligible voters in North Carolina (70%) and eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in North Carolina, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Among the total population in North Carolina, whites outnumber Hispanics by a margin of 9 to 1. However, white eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina by nearly 35 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black and white eligible voters in North Carolina. Three-in-ten (31%) of Latinos are ages 18 to 29 compared to 25% of black eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white eligible voters in North Carolina. Some 22% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 13% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina are less likely than white eligible voters, but more likely than black eligible voters, to live in owner-occupied homes—57% versus 76% and 52%, 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 North Carolina 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)). ↩