Released: October 15, 2010
Latinos in the 2010 Elections: Wisconsin
This statistical profile provides key demographic information of Latino eligible voters in Wisconsin.1 It also contains data on other major groups of eligible voters in Wisconsin.2 All data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Wisconsin’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Wisconsin is the 24th-largest in the nation. Some 286,000 Hispanics reside in Wisconsin.
- The population in Wisconsin is 5% Hispanic, the 31st-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 106,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Wisconsin—the 23rd-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.4 million.
- Some 3% of eligible voters in Wisconsin are Latinos, the 30th-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 38%.
- Less than four-in-ten (37%) of Latinos in Wisconsin are eligible to vote, ranking Wisconsin 29th 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 Wisconsin (32%) are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (31%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Wisconsin eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship. One-in-six Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin (17%) are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 2% of all Wisconsin eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin are more likely to be native-born citizens (83%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (74%).
- Educational Attainment. One-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Wisconsin (23%) 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 55% of Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 60% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Somewhat greater shares of all eligible voters in Wisconsin (72%) and all eligible voters nationwide (70%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Wisconsin, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Latino Eligible Voters. Latino eligible voters are outnumbered by black eligible voters in Wisconsin by a margin of 2 to 1—106,000 Latinos to 210,000 blacks.
- Age. Latino and black eligible voters are younger than white eligible voters in Wisconsin. One-third of Latino eligible voters (32%) and three-in-ten black eligible voters (30%) in Wisconsin are ages 18 to 29 compared with 20% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic and black eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white eligible voters in Wisconsin. Some 23% of Hispanic eligible voters and 22% of black eligible voters have not obtained at least a high school diploma compared with 8% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin are less likely than white eligible voters, but more likely than black eligible voters, to live in owner-occupied homes—55% versus 75% and 37%, 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 Wisconsin 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)). ↩