Released: October 1, 2012
Latinos in the 2012 Election: Wisconsin
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Wisconsin.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 Wisconsin’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Wisconsin ranks 24th in the nation.4 About 335,000 Hispanics reside in Wisconsin, 0.7% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Wisconsin’s population is 6% Hispanic, ranking 31st in Hispanic population share nationally.
- There are 130,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin—ranking 23rd in Hispanic eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 5.9 million.
- Some 3% of Wisconsin eligible voters are Hispanic, which is 30th among Hispanic eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 39%.
- About four-in-ten (39%) Hispanics in Wisconsin are eligible to vote, ranking Wisconsin 25th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, nearly eight-in-ten (79%) of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin are ages 18 to 29, greater than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Wisconsin eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin, 16% are naturalized U.S. citizens, less than Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (25%). Only 2% of all eligible voters in Wisconsin are naturalized citizens, as are 8% of all U.S. eligible voters.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Fully 64% of Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin are of Mexican origin, 25% are Puerto Rican, and 11% are of another Hispanic origin. Among Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 26% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. More than one-in-four Latino eligible voters in Wisconsin (27%) have not completed high school, which is triple the 9% rate of all Wisconsin eligible voters who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. More than half of Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin (55%) live in owner-occupied homes, just below the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (58%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Wisconsin (71%) and all eligible voters nationwide (69%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Wisconsin, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin by more than 28 to 1. Hispanic eligible voters (130,000) are slightly outnumbered by black eligible voters (227,000), but Hispanics more than double the number of Asian eligible voters in Wisconsin (56,000).
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than black and white eligible voters in Wisconsin. Some 38% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 30% of black eligible voters and 19% of white eligible voters. Asian eligible voters have the greatest percentage ages 18 to 29 (44%).
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do black, Asian and white eligible voters in Wisconsin. Some 27% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 21% of black eligible voters, 11% of Asian eligible voters and 8% of white eligible voters. However, a slightly larger share of Hispanic eligible voters (12%) than black eligible voters (11%) in Wisconsin have at least bachelor’s degree.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (55%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black (34%) eligible voters in Wisconsin, but they are less likely to do so than white (75%) or Asian (61%) eligible voters in Wisconsin.
- 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. ↩