Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Louisiana
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Louisiana.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 Louisiana’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Louisiana ranks 31st in the nation.4 About 194,000 Hispanics reside in Louisiana, 0.4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Louisiana’s population is 4% Hispanic, ranking 39th in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 86,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Louisiana—ranking 28th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 3% of Louisiana eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 34th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- Some 44% of Hispanics in Louisiana are eligible to vote, ranking Louisiana 16th 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. Three-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters (30%) in Louisiana are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 23% of all Louisiana eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Louisiana, 26% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is similar to the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S. Just 2% of all eligible voters in Louisiana and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall are naturalized citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Louisiana have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Just more than a third (37%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Louisiana are of Mexican origin, 7% of Puerto Rican origin and 55% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, a greater share are Mexican (59%) or Puerto Rican (14%), and 26% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. Nearly two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Louisiana (18%) have not completed high school, the same share as that of all Louisiana eligible voters, but below the 25% of all Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S. without a high school diploma.
- Homeownership. About six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Louisiana (59%) live in owner-occupied homes, similar to the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Louisiana (70%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Louisiana, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Louisiana by 25 to 1, and blacks outnumber Hispanics by about 12 to 1. There are more than twice as many Hispanic eligible voters (86,000) as Asian eligible voters (33,000) in Louisiana.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black and white eligible voters in Louisiana. Some 30% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29 compared with 27% of black eligible voters and 21% of white eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters are slightly less likely than Asian eligible voters (33%) in Louisiana to be younger than 30.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do white eligible voters in Louisiana. Some 18% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 14% of white eligible voters. However, an equal 23% of Hispanics and whites have a bachelor’s degree or more. While just under two-in-ten (18%) eligible voters who are Hispanic or Asian have not completed high school, Asians (38%) have a higher share of college graduates. Black eligible voters in Louisiana are more likely than all other racial or ethnic groups to have less than a high school diploma (26%) and are least likely to be college graduates (12%).
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (59%) are somewhat more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (55%) eligible voters, but they are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than Asian (80%) and white (77%) eligible voters in Louisiana.
- 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. ↩