Latinos in the 2014 Election: Pennsylvania
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Pennsylvania.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 Pennsylvania’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Pennsylvania is the 13th largest in the nation. About 777,000 Hispanics reside in Pennsylvania, 1.5% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Pennsylvania’s population is 6% Hispanic, the 32nd largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 408,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania—the tenth largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 4% of Pennsylvania eligible voters are Hispanic, the 27th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 53% of Hispanics in Pennsylvania are eligible to vote, ranking Pennsylvania 10th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 80% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. About one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania (34%) 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 20% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania, 12% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is less than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 4% of all eligible voters in Pennsylvania and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Unlike in the overall U.S., Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania are most likely of Puerto Rican origin. About two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic eligible voters in the state are Puerto Rican, while Mexicans make up 9% of the total and Dominicans 7%. Among Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, about six-in-ten (59%) are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 3% are Dominican.
- Educational Attainment. About one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Pennsylvania (26%) have not completed high school, more than twice the 11% of all Pennsylvania eligible voters who have not completed high school and greater than the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Half of Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania live in owner-occupied homes, a smaller share than the 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Pennsylvania (71%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Pennsylvania, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Pennsylvania by about 20 to 1. Hispanics are outnumbered by blacks by more than 2 to 1 among eligible voters, but the number of Hispanics eligible to vote is about double that of Asians.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Asian eligible voters in Pennsylvania. Some 34% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters, 26% 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 in Pennsylvania. Some 26% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 9% of white eligible voters, 16% of black eligible voters and 17% of Asian eligible voters. Some 14% of Hispanic and black eligible voters have a bachelor’s degree or more, compared with 28% of white and 47% of Asian eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (50%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (46%) in Pennsylvania, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (76%) or Asian (71%) 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. ↩