Latinos in the 2014 Election: North Carolina
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in North Carolina.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.3
North Carolina Voter Registration Statistics
According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, voter registration statistics as of October 11, 2014, show that 126,000 Latinos are registered to vote statewide. Overall, Latinos make up 1.9% of the state’s 6.6 million registered voters. The majority of voters in North Carolina are white—there are 4.7 million white registered voters, representing 70.7% of all registered voters in North Carolina. Additionally, more than two-in-ten registered voters in North Carolina are black (22.5%), with about 1.5 million voters statewide. The state does not report detailed information on Asian registered voters.
The number of Latinos registered to vote has increased more than twelvefold since 2004. It rose from 10,000 during the 2004 presidential election to 114,000 during the 2012 presidential election and now stands at 126,000. The share of Latino registered voters in North Carolina has also risen since 2004, from 0.2% in 2004 to 1.9% today. In 2004, whites made up more than three-quarters of all registered voters in North Carolina (77.8%). That share has been dropping, and whites now make up about seven-in-ten of all registered voters in North Carolina (70.7%). The share of North Carolina’s registered voters who are black has risen slightly—from 19.4% in 2004 to 22.5% today.
Hispanics in North Carolina’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in North Carolina ranks 11th in the nation. About 845,000 Hispanics reside in North Carolina, 1.6% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- North Carolina’s population is 9% Hispanic, ranking 26th in Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 214,000 Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina—ranking 17th in Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 3% of North Carolina eligible voters are Hispanic, ranking 32nd in Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- One-quarter of Hispanics in North Carolina are eligible to vote, ranking North Carolina 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 North Carolina (39%) are ages 18 to 29, higher than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) and the share of all North Carolina eligible voters (21%) and of all U.S. eligible voters (22%) in that age range.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among both Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina and all Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., 25% are naturalized U.S. citizens. Just 3% of all eligible voters in North Carolina and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Like Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, the plurality of North Carolina Hispanic voters are Mexican. Fully 44% are of Mexican origin, another one-fourth (23%) are of Puerto Rican origin, and 33% claim some 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. Some two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in North Carolina have not completed high school, higher than the 13% of all North Carolina eligible voters who have not completed high school and lower than the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About half of Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina (53%) live in owner-occupied homes, slightly lower than the 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in North Carolina (68%) and all eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in North Carolina, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in North Carolina by 23 to 1. In addition, black eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters by 7 to 1, while there are twice as many Hispanics as Asians among eligible voters (214,000 to 94,000).
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Asian eligible voters in North Carolina. Some 39% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters, 24% of black eligible voters and 25% of Asian eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white, black and Asian eligible voters. Some 20% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 11% of white eligible voters, 18% of black eligible voters and 11% of Asian eligible voters. Hispanic and black eligible voters are less likely to have at least a bachelor’s degree (16% and 15%, respectively) than white and Asian eligible voters (29% and 46%).
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (53%) are roughly equally likely to live in owner-occupied homes as black eligible voters (51%) in North Carolina, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (74%) or Asian (75%) 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. ↩