Latinos in the 2014 Election: Kentucky
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Kentucky.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 Kentucky’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Kentucky is the 38th largest in the nation. About 134,000 Hispanics reside in Kentucky, 0.3% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Kentucky’s population is 3% Hispanic, the 43rd largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 51,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky—the 39th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 2% of Kentucky eligible voters are Hispanic, the 48th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 38% of Hispanics in Kentucky are eligible to vote, ranking Kentucky 35th 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 Kentucky (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 Kentucky eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky, 17% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is less than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 1% of all eligible voters in Kentucky and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky have a roughly similar Hispanic origin profile to Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Half of Hispanic eligible voters (54%) in Kentucky are of Mexican origin, 20% of Puerto Rican origin and 26% 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. Less than two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Kentucky (14%) have not completed high school, about the same as the 16% of all Kentucky eligible voters who have not completed high school and less than the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About half of Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky (53%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Kentucky (69%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Kentucky, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky by 57 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by about 5 to 1. There are more than twice as many Hispanic eligible voters as there are Asian eligible voters.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Asian eligible voters in Kentucky. Some 36% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 20% of white eligible voters, 28% of black eligible voters and 22% of Asian eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic, white, black and Asian eligible voters in Kentucky have similar levels of high school education. However, the share of Hispanic eligible voters in Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree or more (24%) is higher than that of blacks (12%). A larger share of Asian eligible voters (46%) have at least a bachelor’s degree. Hispanics and whites have roughly similar levels of bachelor’s degree attainment (24% and 20%, respectively). A larger share of Asian eligible voters (46%) have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (53%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (44%) in Kentucky, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (72%) or Asian (63%) 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. ↩