Latinos in the 2014 Election: Oklahoma
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Oklahoma.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 Oklahoma’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Oklahoma is the 24th largest in the nation. About 356,000 Hispanics reside in Oklahoma, 0.7% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Oklahoma’s population is 9% Hispanic, the 23rd largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 124,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma—the 25th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 5% of Oklahoma eligible voters are Hispanic, the 25th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 35% of Hispanics in Oklahoma are eligible to vote, ranking Oklahoma 43rd 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. Some 36% of Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma 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 22% of all Oklahoma eligible voters and of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma, 16% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is less than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 2% of all eligible voters in Oklahoma and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Some 79% of Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma are of Mexican origin, 5% are of Puerto Rican origin, and 16% 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 Oklahoma (26%) have not completed high school, twice the 12% of all Oklahoma eligible voters who have not completed high school and somewhat higher than the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma (57%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Oklahoma (68%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Oklahoma, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Oklahoma by 17 to 1. There are slightly larger eligible voter populations among blacks (193,000) and Native Americans (189,000) than among Hispanics (124,000) in Oklahoma.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Native American eligible voters in Oklahoma. Some 36% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 20% of white eligible voters, 27% of black eligible voters and 26% of Native American eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white, black and Native American eligible voters in Oklahoma. Some 26% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 11% of white eligible voters, 12% of black eligible voters and 17% of Native American eligible voters. Similar shares of Hispanic (12%) and Native American (14%) eligible voters have at least a bachelor’s degree, while 15% of black and 24% of white eligible voters do.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (57%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (44%) in Oklahoma, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (71%) or Native American (66%) 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. ↩