Released: January 23, 2012
Updated: July 2, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Florida
This profile provides Florida voter registration data, including party affiliation, as reported by the Florida Division of Elections through January 3, 2012. It also provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Florida.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3
Florida Voter Registration Statistics
According to the Florida Division of Elections, final registration statistics for the state’s January 31 presidential primary show that 1,473,920 Latinos are registered to vote statewide. Overall, Latinos make up 13.1% of the state’s more than 11.2 million registered voters. Among Latino registered voters, 452,619 are registered as Republicans, making up 11.1% of all Republican registered voters. And 564,513 Latino registered voters are registered as Democrats, representing 12.4% of all Democratic registered voters.
As recently as 2006, more Hispanics in Florida were registered as Republicans than as Democrats. By 2008, the balance tipped over to the Democrats. This year that trend has accelerated, with the gap—111,894 registered voters—between Hispanics who are registered as Democrats and those registered as Republicans wider now than in 2008 or 2010.
Geographically, the majority of Hispanic Republican registered voters are located in South Florida. According to the Division of Elections, 58.5% (264,721) are in Miami-Dade County alone. By contrast, among the state’s Hispanic Democratic registered voters, a smaller share, 33.9% (191,359), are registered to vote in Miami-Dade County.
Hispanics in Florida’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Florida is the third largest in the nation. More than 4.2 million Hispanics reside in Florida, 8% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Florida’s population is 23% Hispanic, the sixth-highest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 2.1 million Hispanic eligible voters in Florida—the third-largest Hispanic eligible-voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 16% of Florida eligible voters are Hispanic, the fifth-largest Hispanic eligible voter population share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- One-half (49%) of Hispanics in Florida are eligible to vote, ranking Florida 12th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 81% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Florida’s Hispanic eligible voters are younger than all eligible voters in Florida—25% of Hispanic eligible voters are ages 18 to 29 versus 19% of all eligible voters.
- Citizenship. Some 43% of Hispanic eligible voters in Florida are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 13% of all Florida eligible voters.
- Nativity. Hispanic eligible voters in Florida are less likely to be native-born citizens (57%) than are Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (75%).
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Florida have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. One-third (32%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Florida are of Cuban origin, 28% are of Puerto Rican origin and 9% are of Mexican origin. By contrast, among Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican and 5% are Cuban.
- Educational Attainment. Two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Florida (20%) have not completed high school. That is lower than the rate for Latino eligible voters nationwide—25%—but greater than the rate for all U.S. eligible voters (12%) or all eligible voters in Florida (13%).
- Homeownership. Two-thirds of Hispanic eligible voters in Florida (67%) live in owner-occupied homes versus 58% of Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Somewhat greater shares of all eligible voters in Florida (71%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Florida, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber both Hispanic and black eligible voters in Florida by more than 4 to 1.
- Age. Black eligible voters are younger than Hispanic or white eligible voters in Florida—28% of black eligible voters are ages 18 to 29 compared with 25% of Hispanic and 16% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. More than half (53%) of Hispanic eligible voters have attended college or earned at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 60% of white and 46% of black eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters are less likely than white eligible voters in Florida to live in owner-occupied homes—67% versus 76%.
- 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 Florida is based on the Census Bureau's 2010 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 the 2010 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/pums/Accuracy/2010AccuracyPUMS.pdf. ↩