Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Iowa
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Iowa.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 Iowa’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Iowa ranks 36th in the nation.4 About 151,000 Hispanics reside in Iowa, 0.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Iowa’s population is 5% Hispanic, ranking 35th in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 52,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa—ranking 36th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 2% of Iowa eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 36th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- About one-third of Hispanics (34%) in Iowa are eligible to vote, ranking Iowa 34th 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 four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa (44%) are ages 18 to 29, greater than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Iowa eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa, 23% 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 Iowa and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. More than three-quarters (77%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa are of Mexican origin, 7% of Puerto Rican origin and 16% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, six-in-ten (59%) are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican and about one-quarter (26%) are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. About one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Iowa (26%) have not completed high school, almost triple the 9% of all Iowa eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa (60%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 58% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Iowa (73%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Iowa, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa by more than 40 to 1. There are a similar number of Hispanic (52,000) and black (55,000) eligible voters in Iowa.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black and white eligible voters in Iowa. Some 44% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 29% of black eligible voters and 20% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do black and white eligible voters in Iowa. Some 26% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma compared with 19% of black eligible voters and 8% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (60%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (31%) in Iowa, but they are less likely to do so than white (75%) Iowa 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. ↩