Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: District of Columbia
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in District of Columbia.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 the District of Columbia’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in the District of Columbia ranks 42nd in the nation.4 About 55,000 Hispanics reside in the District of Columbia, 0.1% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- District of Columbia’s population is 9% Hispanic, ranking 20th in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 22,000 Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia—ranking 43rd in terms of Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- About 5% of District of Columbia eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 21st in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- About four-in-ten (41%) Hispanics in the District of Columbia are eligible to vote, ranking the District of Columbia 23rd nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, nearly nine-in-ten (86%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. More than one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia (38%) are ages 18 to 29, slightly more than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. The share of all District of Columbia eligible voters who are ages 18 to 29 (32%) is higher than that of all U.S. eligible voters (22%).
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia, 29% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 6% of all eligible voters in the District of Columbia and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Only 19% of Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia are of Mexican origin, 18% are of Salvadoran origin, and nearly two-thirds (63%) claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, six-in-ten (59%) are Mexican, only 2% are Salvadoran, and 38% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. Two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in the District of Columbia (20%) have not completed high school, almost double the 11% of all District of Columbia eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. More than four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia (42%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 58% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. A similar share of all eligible voters in the District of Columbia (42%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in the District of Columbia, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. Black eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia by more than 10 to 1, and white eligible voters outnumber Hispanics in the District of Columbia by more than 8 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black eligible voters and about as young as white eligible voters in the District of Columbia. Some 38% of Latinos and 39% of whites are ages 18 to 29, compared with 24% of black eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than white eligible voters and about the same levels as black eligible voters in the District of Columbia. Some 20% of Hispanic and 19% of black eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with less than 1% of white eligible voters. A greater share of Hispanic (38%) than black (19%) eligible voters in the District of Columbia have at least a bachelor’s degree. 79% of white eligible voters have this level of educational attainment.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (42%) are about as likely to live in owner-occupied homes as black (40%) and white (45%) eligible voters in the District of Columbia.
- 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. ↩