Latinos in the 2016 Election: Florida
This profile provides Florida voter registration data, including party affiliation, as reported by the Florida Division of Elections through February 16, 2016. It also provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Florida.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey.3
Florida Voter Registration Statistics
According to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections, 1,795,000 Latinos were registered to vote statewide as of presidential preference primary book closing on February 16, 2016. Overall, Latinos make up 14.9% of the state’s more than 12 million active registered voters. Among Latino registered voters, 479,000 are registered as Republicans, making up 11.2% of all Republican registered voters. And 678,000 Latino registered voters are registered as Democrats, representing 14.8% of all Democratic registered voters.
As recently as 2006, more Hispanics in Florida were registered as Republicans (37%) than as Democrats (33%). By 2008, the balance tipped over to the Democrats. The gap between Hispanics who are registered as Democrats (38%) and those registered as Republicans (27%) is wider now than in 2010.
Geographically, the majority of Hispanic Republican registered voters are located in South Florida. According to the Division of Elections, 54% (260,000) are in Miami-Dade County alone. By contrast, among the state’s Hispanic Democratic registered voters, a smaller share, 31% (213,000), are registered to vote in Miami-Dade County.
Hispanics have grown from 10.7% of the registered voters in 2006 to 14.9% today. They outnumber black registered voters (13.3%). The share of white eligible voters has declined from 2006, when they composed 72.0% of registered voters. Whites today make up about two-thirds (65.7%) of registered voters, and Asians are an additional 1.8% of the state’s registered voters.
Hispanics in Florida’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Florida is the third largest in the nation. About 4.8 million Hispanics reside in Florida, 8.7% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Florida’s population is 24% Hispanic, the sixth largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 2.6 million Hispanic eligible voters in Florida—the third largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.9 million.
- Some 18% of Florida eligible voters are Hispanic, the fifth largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- About half (53%) of Hispanics in Florida are eligible to vote, ranking Florida 9th 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. One-quarter of Hispanic eligible voters in Florida are ages 18 to 29, a smaller share than all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) in that age range. Some 19% of all Florida eligible voters and 22% of all U.S. eligible voters are ages 18 to 29.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Florida, 43% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is greater than the 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., 15% of all eligible voters in Florida and 9% of eligible voters in the U.S overall who are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Florida have a different Hispanic origin profile to Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Only 9% of Hispanic eligible voters in Florida are of Mexican origin, 27% are of Puerto Rican origin, 31% are of Cuban origin and 32% claim other Hispanic origin. Among all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican, 5% are of Cuban origin and 22% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. About two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Florida (17%) have not completed high school. That is lower than the rate for Latino eligible voters nationwide—22%—but greater than the rate for all U.S. eligible voters (11%) or all eligible voters in Florida (12%).
- Homeownership. About six-in-ten Hispanic eligible voters in Florida (61%) live in owner-occupied homes. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Florida and all eligible voters nationwide (both 67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Florida, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Florida by about 4 to 1. There are more Hispanic (2.6 million) voters than black (2 million) eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters outnumber Asian eligible voters by about 9 to 1.
- Age. Hispanic eligible voters are younger than white and Asian eligible voters in Florida – 25% of Hispanic eligible voters are ages 18 to 29, compared with 16% of white and 19% of Asian eligible voters. By contrast, black eligible voters are younger than Hispanic eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do white and Asian eligible voters in Florida, and about the same level of high school education as black eligible voters. Some 17% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 8% of white, 18% of black and 13% of Asian eligible voters. Hispanic eligible voters (22%) are less likely to have at least a bachelor’s degree than white (29%) or Asian (40%) eligible voters, but more likely than black eligible voters (16%).
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (61%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (49%) in Florida, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (73%) or Asian (76%) 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 2014 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 2014 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. ↩