Latinos in the 2010 Elections: the District of Columbia
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in the District of Columbia.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in the District of Columbia.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in the District of Columbia’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in the District of Columbia is the 42nd-largest in the nation. Some 51,000 Hispanics reside in the District of Columbia.
- The population in the District of Columbia is 9% Hispanic, the 18th-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 16,000 eligible Hispanic voters in the District of Columbia—the 45th-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 4% of eligible voters in the District of Columbia are Latinos, the 23rd-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Three-in-ten (32%) of Latinos in the District of Columbia are eligible to vote, ranking the District of Columbia 41st nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. In contrast, 84% of the white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Three-in-ten (28%) of Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia are ages 18 to 29, less than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Some 37% of Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 6% of all District of Columbia eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia are less likely to be native-born citizens (63%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. Some 15% of Latino eligible voters in the District of Columbia 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. Four-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia (41%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. A somewhat greater share of U.S. eligible voters (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in the District of Columbia, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Black eligible voters outnumber Latino eligible voters in the District of Columbia by a margin of 14 to 1. Whites outnumber Latino eligible voters by 10 to 1.
- Age. Hispanic eligible voters are younger than black eligible voters in the District of Columbia—28% of Hispanic eligible voters are ages 18 to 29 compared with 23% of black eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white eligible voters but higher levels than black eligible voters in the District of Columbia. Some 44% of Hispanics have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 79% of white and 19% of black eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters are less likely than white eligible voters in the District of Columbia to live in owner-occupied homes—41% versus 50%.
- 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 the District of Columbia 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)). ↩