Latinos in the 2014 Election: South Carolina
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in South Carolina.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 South Carolina’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in South Carolina is the 29th largest in the nation. About 247,000 Hispanics reside in South Carolina, 0.5% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- South Carolina’s population is 5% Hispanic, the 34th largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 82,000 Hispanic eligible voters in South Carolina—the 31st largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 2% of South Carolina eligible voters are Hispanic, the 38th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 33% of Hispanics in South Carolina are eligible to vote, ranking South Carolina 44th 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 South Carolina (38%) are ages 18 to 29, slightly higher than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) and the share of all South Carolina eligible voters (21%) and of all U.S. eligible voters (22%) in that age range.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in South Carolina, 23% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 2% of all eligible voters in South Carolina and 8% of eligible voters in the U.S. overall.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in South Carolina have a different Hispanic origin profile from Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Some three-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in South Carolina are of Mexican origin, 29% of Puerto Rican origin and 40% 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. Some 16% of Latino eligible voters in South Carolina have not completed high school, about the same as the 15% of all South Carolina eligible voters who have not completed high school and lower than the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. Some 55% of Hispanic eligible voters in South Carolina live in owner-occupied homes, compared with 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in South Carolina (69%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in South Carolina, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in South Carolina by 29 to 1, and black eligible voters outnumber Hispanics by nearly 12 to 1. There are more than twice as many Hispanic eligible voters (82,000) as Asian eligible voters (33,000).
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, black and Asian eligible voters in South Carolina. Some 38% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters, 25% of black eligible voters and 29% of Asian eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do white eligible voters in South Carolina. Some 16% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 12% of white eligible voters. A similar share of Asian eligible voters (17%) and a slightly higher share of black eligible voters (21%) have not graduated from high school. A larger share of Hispanics (21%) than blacks (12%) have a bachelor’s degree or more. About one-quarter of white eligible voters (27%) and 35% of Asian eligible voters in South Carolina have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (55%) are equally likely to live in owner-occupied homes as black eligible voters (also 55%) in South Carolina, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (75%) or Asian (70%) 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. ↩