Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Arkansas
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Arkansas.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Arkansas’ Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Arkansas ranks 33rd in the nation.4 About 182,000 Hispanics reside in Arkansas, 0.4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Arkansas’s population is 6% Hispanic, ranking 29th in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 51,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas—ranking 37th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 2% of Arkansas eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 35th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- Fewer than three-in-ten (28%) Hispanics in Arkansas are eligible to vote, ranking Arkansas 43rd nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, more than three-quarters (78%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. More than one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas (35%) are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Arkansas eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas, 30% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 2% of all eligible voters in Arkansas and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas are of Mexican origin, 7% of Puerto Rican origin and 20% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, six-in-ten (59%) are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and about a quarter (26%) are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. More than one-third of Latino eligible voters in Arkansas (35%) have not completed high school, more than double the 16% of all Arkansas eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. More than six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas (62%) live in owner-occupied homes, slightly more than the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Arkansas and all eligible voters nationwide (both 69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Arkansas, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Arkansas by almost 34 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by more than 6 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black and white eligible voters in Arkansas. Some 35% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29 compared with 27% of black eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do black and white eligible voters in Arkansas. Some 35% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma compared with 22% of black eligible voters and 15% of white eligible voters. However, a slightly larger share of Hispanic (14%) than black (11%) eligible voters in Arkansas have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (62%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (47%) eligible voters in Arkansas, but they are less likely to do so than white (73%) eligible voters.
- 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. ↩