Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Alabama
Updated November 5, 2012
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Alabama.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3
Alabama Voter Registration Statistics
According to the Alabama Secretary of State Elections Division, voter registration statistics as of October 2012 show that 18,000 Latinos are registered to vote statewide. Overall, Latinos make up 0.6% of the state’s 3.2 million registered voters. The majority of voters in Alabama are white—there are 2.2 million white registered voters, representing 70.6% of all registered voters in Alabama. Additionally, about a quarter of registered voters in Alabama are black (26.7%), with about 845,000 statewide. Native Americans represent a slightly smaller share of registered voters than Hispanics, with 11,000 registered statewide (0.3% of all registered voters in Alabama).
The numbers and shares of Hispanics and other minorities among registered voters in Alabama have grown slightly since the presidential election in November 2008. There are about 6,000 more Hispanic registered voters today, and their share has risen from 0.4% of all registered voters in the state to 0.6%. In 2008, whites made up 71.8% of registered voters in the state, only slightly larger than their share today (70.6%).
Hispanics in Alabama’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Alabama ranks 32nd in the nation.4 About 182,000 Hispanics reside in Alabama, 0.4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Alabama’s population is 4% Hispanic, ranking 40th in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 45,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama—ranking 38th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 1% of Alabama eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 46th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- One quarter (25%) of Hispanics in Alabama are eligible to vote, ranking Alabama 46th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 79% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. More than four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama (44%) are ages 18 to 29, higher than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Alabama eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama, 24% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 1% of all eligible voters in Alabama and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama have a similar Hispanic origin profile to Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. More than half (52%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama are of Mexican origin, 17% are of Puerto Rican origin, and 30% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 26% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. One-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Alabama (25%) have not completed high school, higher than the 17% of all Alabama eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. More than half of Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama (53%) live in owner-occupied homes, just below the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Alabama (72%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Alabama, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama by 56 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by more than 20 to 1. There are a more Hispanic (45,000) than Native American (18,000) eligible voters in Alabama.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Native American and white eligible voters in Alabama. Some 44% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 26% of black and Native American eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than white, black and Native American eligible voters in Alabama. Some 25% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 15% of white eligible voters, 20% of Native American eligible voters and 23% of black eligible voters. However, the share of Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama with a bachelor’s degree or more (18%) is slightly higher than that of eligible voters who are Native American (14%) or black (13%). Nearly one-quarter (23%) of whites in Alabama have a bachelor’s degree.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (53%) are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (57%), Native American (71%) or white (78%) eligible voters in Alabama.
- 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 other races and ethnicities are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations. ↩
- This statistical profile of eligible voters 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. More information is available on ACS sampling strategy and associated error. ↩
- Rankings for “Percent of Hispanic population eligible to vote” are based on the District of Columbia and the 46 states whose Hispanic samples in the 2010 ACS are large enough to generate reliable estimates. All other rankings are based on the District of Columbia and the 50 states. ↩