Latinos in the 2014 Election: Rhode Island
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Rhode Island.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 Rhode Island’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Rhode Island is the 37th largest in the nation. Rhode Island’s population is 13% Hispanic, the 13th largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 60,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island—the 37th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 8% of Rhode Island eligible voters are Hispanic, the 13th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 43% of Hispanics in Rhode Island are eligible to vote, ranking Rhode Island 26th nationwide in the share of the Hispanic population that is eligible to vote. By contrast, 82% of the state’s white population is eligible to vote.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters
- Age. Some four-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island are ages 18 to 29, somewhat higher than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) and the share of all Rhode Island eligible voters and of all U.S. eligible voters (both 22%) in that age range.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island, 35% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is higher than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 9% of all eligible voters in Rhode Island and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Puerto Ricans make up 33% of Hispanic eligible voters and Dominicans are another 24%, while those of Mexican origin total 8%. This is a contrast to the U.S. overall, where six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters (59%) are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, and 3% are Dominican.
- Educational Attainment. About one-quarter of Latino eligible voters in Rhode Island (23%) have not completed high school, about twice the 12% of all Rhode Island eligible voters who have not completed high school and the same as the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About one-third of Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island (35%) live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Rhode Island (64%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Rhode Island, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Rhode Island by an 11-to-1 margin. However, there are about twice as many Hispanic eligible voters in the state as black eligible voters.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white and black eligible voters in Rhode Island. Some 40% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters and 31% of black eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of education than do white and black eligible voters in Rhode Island. Some 23% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 10% of white and 15% of black eligible voters.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (35%) are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (68%) or black (49%) eligible voters in Rhode Island.
- 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. ↩