Released: October 15, 2010
Latinos in the 2010 Elections: Rhode Island
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in Rhode Island.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in Rhode Island.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Rhode Island’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Rhode Island is the 37th-largest in the nation. Some 121,000 Hispanics reside in Rhode Island.
- The population in Rhode Island is 11% Hispanic, the 13th-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 46,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Rhode Island—the 34th-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 6% of eligible voters in Rhode Island are Latinos, the 13th-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Four-in-ten (38%) of Latinos in Rhode Island are eligible to vote, ranking Rhode Island 27th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 80% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Some 36% of Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island are ages 18 to 29, greater than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all Rhode Island eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Four-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island (40%) are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 8% of all Rhode Island eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island are less likely to be native-born citizens (60%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. One-third of Latino eligible voters in Rhode Island (33%) 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. Less than half of Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island (46%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Somewhat greater shares of all eligible voters in Rhode Island (68%) and all eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Rhode Island, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Among the total population in Rhode Island, whites outnumber Hispanics by a margin of nearly 7 to 1. However, white eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island by more than 14 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white eligible voters in Rhode Island. Among Latino eligible voters, 36% are ages 18 to 29 compared with 20% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white eligible voters in Rhode Island. One-third of Hispanic eligible voters (33%) have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with only 12% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters are less likely than white eligible voters in Rhode Island to live in owner-occupied homes—46% versus 71%.
- 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 Rhode Island 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)). ↩