Latinos in the 2014 Election: Alabama
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Alabama.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.3
Alabama Voter Registration Statistics
According to the Alabama Secretary of State Elections Division, voter registration statistics as of September 2014 show that 18,000 Latinos are registered to vote statewide. Overall, Latinos make up 0.6% of the state’s nearly 3 million registered voters. The majority of voters in Alabama are white—there are 2.1 million white registered voters, representing 69.9% of all registered voters in Alabama. Additionally, about a quarter of registered voters in Alabama are black (27.2%), with about 811,000 statewide. Asians represent a slightly smaller share of registered voters than Hispanics, with 14,000 registered statewide (0.5% of all registered voters in Alabama).
The numbers and shares of Hispanics and other minorities among registered voters in Alabama have grown slightly since the midterm election in November 2010. There are about 5,000 more Hispanic registered voters today, and their share has risen from 0.4% of all registered voters in the state to 0.6%. In 2010, whites made up 71.6% of registered voters in the state, slightly larger than their share today (69.9%).
Hispanics in Alabama’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Alabama ranks 33rd in the nation. About 185,000 Hispanics reside in Alabama, 0.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Alabama’s population is 4% Hispanic, ranking 40th in Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 56,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama—ranking 38th in Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 2% of Alabama eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 46th in Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some three-in-ten Hispanics in Alabama are eligible to vote, ranking Alabama next to last nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 79% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama (37%) are ages 18 to 29, similar to the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Alabama eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama, 23% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 1% of all eligible voters in Alabama and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama have a similar Hispanic origin profile to Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. More than half (62%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama are of Mexican origin, 14% are of Puerto Rican origin, and 24% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 27% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. One-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Alabama (24%) have not completed high school, higher than the 16% of all Alabama eligible voters who have not completed high school and about the same as the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama (59%) live in owner-occupied homes, about the same as the share of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide (56%). Greater shares of all eligible voters in Alabama (71%) and all eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Alabama, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama by 45 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by more than 16 to 1. There are more Hispanic (56,000) than Asian (22,000) eligible voters in Alabama.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Asian eligible voters in Alabama. Some 37% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters, 26% of black eligible voters and 22% of Asian eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than white, black and Asian eligible voters in Alabama. Some 24% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 14% of white eligible voters, 20% of black eligible voters and 10% of Asian eligible voters. However, the share of Hispanic eligible voters in Alabama with a bachelor’s degree or more (21%) is higher than that of eligible voters who are black (13%). About one-quarter (24%) of whites in Alabama and 43% of Asians have a bachelor’s degree.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (59%) are roughly equally likely to live in owner-occupied homes as black eligible voters (56%) in Alabama, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (76%) or Asian (74%) eligible voters.
- 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 2012 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 2012 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. ↩