Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Pennsylvania
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Pennsylvania.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 Pennsylvania’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Pennsylvania is the 14th largest in the nation.4 About 719,000 Hispanics reside in Pennsylvania, 1.4% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Pennsylvania’s population is 6% Hispanic, ranking 33rd in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 353,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania—the 10th largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 4% of Pennsylvania eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 28th in Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- Nearly half (49%) of Hispanics in Pennsylvania are eligible to vote, ranking Pennsylvania eighth nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 80% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Fully 35% of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania are ages 18 to 29, greater than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 20% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania, 13% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 4% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters and 8% nationwide.
- Hispanic Origin. Unlike in the overall U.S., Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania are most likely of Puerto Rican origin. Two-thirds (66%) of Hispanic eligible voters in the state are Puerto Rican, while Mexicans make up 9% of the total and Dominicans 5%. Among Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, nearly six-in-ten (59%) are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 3% are Dominican.
- Educational Attainment. More than one-in-four Latino eligible voters in Pennsylvania (26%) have not completed high school, more than double the 11% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Less than half of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania (48%) live in owner-occupied homes, below the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Pennsylvania (72%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Pennsylvania, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania by more than 22 to 1. Hispanics are outnumbered by blacks by more than 2 to 1 among eligible voters, but the number of Hispanics eligible to vote is about double that of Asians.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than Asian, black and white eligible voters in Pennsylvania. Some 35% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 29% of Asian eligible voters, 26% of black eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do black, Asian and white eligible voters in Pennsylvania. Some 26% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 18% of black eligible voters, 17% of Asian eligible voters and 10% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (48%) are slightly less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (50%) eligible voters in Pennsylvania, and they have far lower homeownership rates than white (76%) or Asian (72%) eligible voters in the state.
- 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. ↩