Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Massachusetts
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Massachusetts.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 Massachusetts’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Massachusetts is the 15th largest in the nation.4 About 631,000 Hispanics reside in Massachusetts, 1.2% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Massachusetts’s population is 10% Hispanic, the 18th largest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 299,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts—the 11th largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 6% of Massachusetts eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 15th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- Nearly half (47%) of Hispanics in Massachusetts are eligible to vote, ranking Massachusetts 12th 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. About one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts (34%) 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 Massachusetts eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts, 25% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 10% of all eligible voters in Massachusetts and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. More than half (54%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts are of Puerto Rican origin, 17% are of Dominican origin, 5% are Mexican, and 24% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, only 14% are Puerto Rican, 3% are Dominican, 59% are Mexican, and 23% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. Nearly three-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Massachusetts (28%) have not completed high school, about triple the 10% of all Massachusetts eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts (34%) live in owner-occupied homes, significantly less than the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Massachusetts (67%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Massachusetts, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Massachusetts by 13 to 1. There is a similar number of Hispanic (299,000) and black (235,000) eligible voters in Massachusetts, and Hispanic eligible voters outnumber Asians by almost 2 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Asian and white eligible voters in Massachusetts. Some 34% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 27% of black and Asian eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do Asian, black and white eligible voters in Massachusetts. Some 28% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 16% of Asian eligible voters, 14% of black eligible voters and 7% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (34%) are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (42%), Asian (65%) or white (72%) eligible voters in Massachusetts.
- 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. ↩