Released: October 15, 2010
Latinos in the 2010 Elections: Pennsylvania
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in Pennsylvania.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in Pennsylvania.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Pennsylvania’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Pennsylvania is the 14th-largest in the nation. Some 589,000 Hispanics reside in Pennsylvania.
- The population in Pennsylvania is 5% Hispanic, the 33rd-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 289,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Pennsylvania—the 10th-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 3% of eligible voters in Pennsylvania are Latinos, the 27th-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- One-half (49%) of Latinos in Pennsylvania are eligible to vote, ranking Pennsylvania 10th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 79% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Three-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania (31%) are ages 18 to 29, equal to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide. By contrast, only 20% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Some 13% of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 3% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania are more likely to be native-born citizens (87%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. More than one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Pennsylvania (28%) 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. One-half of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania (51%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Somewhat greater shares of all eligible voters in Pennsylvania (73%) and all eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Pennsylvania, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Black eligible voters in Pennsylvania outnumber Hispanic eligible voters by a margin of 3-to-1—878,000 blacks compared with 289,000 Hispanics.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than other major racial groups in Pennsylvania. Three-in-ten of Latino eligible voters in Pennsylvania (31%) are ages 18 to 29 compared with 26% of black eligible voters, 23% 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 Pennsylvania. Some 28% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 18% of black eligible voters and 11% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania are less likely than white eligible voters, but more likely than black eligible voters, to live in owner-occupied homes—51% versus 76% and 48%, 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 Pennsylvania 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)). ↩