Latinos in the 2010 Elections: Virginia
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in Virginia.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in Virginia.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Virginia’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Virginia is the 16th-largest in the nation. Some 528,000 Hispanics reside in Virginia.
- The population in Virginia is 7% Hispanic, the 27th-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 183,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Virginia—the 16th-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 3% of eligible voters in Virginia are Latinos, the 26th-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- One-third (35%) of Latinos in Virginia are eligible to vote, ranking Virginia 34th 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. One-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Virginia (32%) are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all Virginia eligible voters and all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. Some 36% of Hispanic eligible voters in Virginia are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 6% of all Virginia eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in Virginia are less likely to be native-born citizens (64%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. One-in-six of Latino eligible voters in Virginia (17%) 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. Six-in-ten of Hispanic eligible voters in Virginia (61%) live in owner-occupied homes, similar to the rate of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (60%). Somewhat greater shares of all eligible voters in Virginia (71%) and all eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Virginia, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Black eligible voters outnumber Asian and Hispanic eligible voters in Virginia by nearly 6 to 1—1.1 million versus 185,000 and 183,000, respectively.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than other major racial groups in Virginia. One-third of Latino eligible voters in Virginia (32%) are ages 18 to 29 compared with 25% of black eligible voters, 20% of white eligible voters and 19% of Asian 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 Virginia. Some 17% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 21% of black eligible voters and 11% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in Virginia are less likely than white eligible voters, but more likely than black eligible voters, to live in owner-occupied homes—61% versus 75% and 54%, 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 Virginia 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)). ↩