Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Oklahoma
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Oklahoma.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 Oklahoma’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Oklahoma ranks 25th in the nation.4 About 332,000 Hispanics reside in Oklahoma, 0.7% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Oklahoma’s population is 9% Hispanic, ranking 23rd in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 111,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma—ranking 26th in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 4% of Oklahoma eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 25th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- About a third (34%) of Hispanics in Oklahoma are eligible to vote, ranking Oklahoma 37th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, about eight-in-ten (79%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters (39%) in Oklahoma are ages 18 to 29, higher than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 22% of all Oklahoma eligible voters and of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma, 18% 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 Oklahoma and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. About eight-in-ten (79%) Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma are of Mexican origin, 5% of Puerto Rican origin and 17% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, only six-in-ten (59%) are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 26% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. Some 26% of Latino eligible voters in Oklahoma have not completed high school, double the share of all Oklahoma eligible voters (13%) who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Fewer than six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma (56%) live in owner-occupied homes, similar to the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Oklahoma (70%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Oklahoma, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma by more than 18 to 1. There are slightly larger eligible voter populations among blacks (188,000) and Native Americans (173,000) than among Hispanics (111,000) in Oklahoma.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Native American and white eligible voters in Oklahoma. Some 39% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29 compared with 28% of black eligible voters, 27% of Native American eligible voters and 20% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do Native American, black and white eligible voters in Oklahoma. Some 26% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma compared with 17% of Native American eligible voters, 15% of black eligible voters and 12% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (56%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (45%) eligible voters, but they are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (73%) and Asian (66%) eligible voters in Oklahoma.
- 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. ↩