Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: New Mexico
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in New Mexico.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 Mexico’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in New Mexico is the ninth largest in the nation.4 About 960,000 Hispanics reside in New Mexico, 1.9% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- New Mexico’s population is 46% Hispanic, the largest Hispanic population share nationally. The state with the second largest Hispanic population share is Texas, which is 38% Hispanic.
- There are 550,000 Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico—the eighth largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 39% of New Mexico eligible voters are Hispanic, the largest Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. Texas ranks second with 26%.
- Nearly six-in-ten (57%) Hispanics in New Mexico are eligible to vote, ranking New Mexico third nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, more than eight-in-ten (83%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About three-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico (28%) are ages 18 to 29, just below the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all eligible voters in New Mexico and in the overall U.S. are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Less than one-tenth of Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico (8%) are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters nationwide and 5% of all New Mexico eligible voters.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico, like those nationwide, are mostly of Mexican origin. Fully 53% of Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico are of Mexican origin while just 1% are Puerto Rican and 46% are of another Hispanic origin. Among all U.S. Hispanic eligible voters, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, 5% are Cuban and 26% are of another Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. About two-in-ten (21%) Latino eligible voters in New Mexico have not completed high school. This is greater than the 14% rate for all eligible voters in New Mexico, but less than the rate for all U.S. Hispanic eligible voters (25%).
- Homeownership. More than seven-in-ten (72%) Hispanic eligible voters in New Mexico live in owner-occupied homes, about the same as the rate for all New Mexico eligible voters (71%). The rate is also greater than the figures for all eligible voters in the U.S. (69%) and Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%).
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in New Mexico, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. Although there are more Hispanics than whites in New Mexico, white eligible voters (691,000) outnumber Hispanic eligible voters (550,000). The state also has 128,000 eligible voters who are Native American and 29,000 who are black.
- Age. More than one-quarter of Latino eligible voters (28%) are ages 18 to 29. This is a higher percentage of young eligible voters than the rate for whites (16%) or blacks (24%), but it is lower than that of Native Americans (30%).
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white and black eligible voters in New Mexico. Some 21% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 12% of black eligible voters and 7% of white eligible voters. However, eligible voters in New Mexico who are Hispanic are slightly less likely (21%) than those who are Native American (23%) to lack a high school diploma.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (72%) are slightly less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white eligible voters (73%) in New Mexico, but they have higher rates than Native American (69%) and black (48%) eligible voters in New Mexico.
- 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. ↩