Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: New Jersey
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in New Jersey.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 New Jersey’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in New Jersey is the seventh largest in the nation.4 About 1.6 million Hispanics reside in New Jersey, 3.1% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- New Jersey’s population is 18% Hispanic, the eighth largest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 677,000 Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey—the seventh largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 11% of New Jersey eligible voters are Hispanic, the ninth largest Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- More than four-in-ten (43%) of Hispanics in New Jersey are eligible to vote, ranking New Jersey 18th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, more than three-quarters (77%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About three-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey (28%) are ages 18 to 29, just below the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 19% of all New Jersey eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey, 35% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S. and just 15% of all eligible voters in New Jersey and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. About four-in-ten (41%) Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey are of Puerto Rican origin, 12% are of Dominican origin, 5% are of Mexican origin, and 42% 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. Two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in New Jersey (21%) have not completed high school, more than double the 10% of all New Jersey eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. More than half of Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey (52%) live in owner-occupied homes, just below the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in New Jersey (73%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in New Jersey, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in New Jersey by nearly 6 to 1. Hispanics eligible voters outnumber Asian eligible voters by about 2 to 1. There are slightly more black (789,000) than Hispanic (677,000) eligible voters in New Jersey.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Asian and white eligible voters in New Jersey. Some 28% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 23% of black eligible voters, 19% of Asian eligible voters and 16% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do black, Asian and white eligible voters in New Jersey. Some 21% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 15% of black eligible voters and 7% of both Asian and white eligible voters. Among both Hispanic and black eligible voters, 18% have completed a bachelor’s degree or more, compared with 62% of Asian and 37% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (52%) are slightly more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (49%) eligible voters in New Jersey, but they are less likely to do so than white (81%) or Asian (77%) eligible voters in New Jersey.
- 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. ↩