Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Texas
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Texas.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 Texas’ Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Texas is the second largest in the nation.4 About 9.5 million Hispanics reside in Texas, 18.8% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Texas’s population is 38% Hispanic, the second largest Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 4.2 million Hispanic eligible voters in Texas—the second largest Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 26% of Texas eligible voters are Hispanic, the second largest Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- More than four-in-ten (44%) Hispanics in Texas are eligible to vote, ranking Texas 17th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, more than three-quarters (78%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About one-in-three Hispanic eligible voters in Texas (32%) are ages 18 to 29, just below the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 24% of all Texas eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Texas, 17% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 8% of all eligible voters in both Texas and the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Texas have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) are Mexican, greater than the 59% rate nationwide. An additional 2% are of Puerto Rican origin and 1% are Salvadoran. In the U.S., 14% of Hispanic eligible voters are Puerto Rican and 5% are Cuban.
- Educational Attainment. More than one-in-four Latino eligible voters in Texas (27%) have not completed high school, nearly double the 14% of all Texas eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Two-thirds of Hispanic eligible voters in Texas (67%) live in owner-occupied homes, larger than the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%) and about the same as all eligible voters in the state (68%). Nationwide, 69% of eligible voters live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Texas, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Texas by more than 2 to 1. Hispanic eligible voters outnumber black eligible voters by about 2 to 1 and Asian eligible voters by about 9 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black, Asian and white eligible voters in Texas. Some 32% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 26% of black eligible voters, 22% of Asian 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 Texas. Some 27% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 14% of black eligible voters, 12% of Asian eligible voters and 8% of white eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (67%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (48%) eligible voters in Texas, but they are less likely to do so than Asian (78%) or white (73%) eligible voters in Texas.
- 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. ↩