Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Illinois
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Illinois.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 Illinois’ Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Illinois is the fifth largest in the nation.4 About 2.0 million Hispanics reside in Illinois, 4.0% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Illinois’s population is 16% Hispanic, the 10th largest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 773,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois—the 6th largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 9% of Illinois eligible voters are Hispanic, the 11th largest Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- Nearly four-in-ten (38%) Hispanics in Illinois are eligible to vote, ranking Illinois 27th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, nearly eight-in-ten (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 Illinois (35%) are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all Illinois eligible voters and of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois, 29% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., and just 8% of all eligible voters in Illinois and in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. About seven-in-ten (70%) Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois are of Mexican origin, 17% are of Puerto Rican origin, and 13% 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. One-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Illinois (25%) have not completed high school, more than double the 11% of all Illinois eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Two-thirds of Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois (67%) live in owner-occupied homes, higher than the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Similar shares of all eligible voters in Illinois (71%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Illinois, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Illinois by about 8 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by almost 2 to 1. There are more than double as many Hispanic eligible voters as Asian eligible voters.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Asian and white eligible voters in Illinois. Some 35% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 25% of black eligible voters, 24% of Asian eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do black, white and Asian eligible voters in Illinois. Some 25% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 19% of black eligible voters and 8% of white and Asian eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (67%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (44%) eligible voters in Illinois, but they are less likely to do so than Asian (76%) or white (78%) eligible voters in Illinois.
- 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. ↩