Latinos in the 2014 Election: Iowa
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Iowa.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.3
Hispanics in Iowa’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Iowa ranks 36th in the nation. About 161,000 Hispanics reside in Iowa, 0.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Iowa’s population is 5% Hispanic, ranking 35th in Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 61,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa—ranking 36th in Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 3% of Iowa eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 36th in Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 38% of Hispanics in Iowa are eligible to vote, ranking Iowa 38th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 78% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa (36%) are ages 18 to 29, about the same as the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. By contrast, only 21% of all Iowa eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa, 20% are naturalized U.S. citizens—lower than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S. Just 2% of all eligible voters in Iowa and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. About three-quarters (76%) of Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa are of Mexican origin, 7% are of Puerto Rican origin, and 18% 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. About one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Iowa (23%) have not completed high school, about triple the 8% of all Iowa eligible voters who have not completed high school and the same as the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Iowa (73%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Iowa, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Iowa by about 35 to 1. There are a similar number of Hispanic (61,000) and black (57,000) eligible voters in Iowa.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white eligible voters in Iowa. Some 36% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 20% of white eligible voters. About one-third of black eligible voters (31%) are ages 18 to 29.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do white and black eligible voters in Iowa. Some 23% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 7% of white eligible voters and 13% of black eligible voters. However, Hispanics are about as likely as blacks to have at least a bachelor’s degree—15% compared with 12%. One-quarter of whites have a bachelor’s degree or more.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (60%) are more likely than black eligible voters (35%), but are less likely than white eligible voters (75%) to live in owner-occupied homes in Iowa.
- 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. ↩