April 30, 2009

Dissecting the 2008 Electorate: Most Diverse in U.S. History

II. Growing Diversity Among Eligible Voters

Population growth among Latinos, blacks and Asians between 2004 and 2008 changed the demographic composition of eligible voters. In 2008, while nearly three-quarters of all eligible voters were white (73.4%), a record share were non-white (26.6%). Overall, there were 206 million eligible voters in 2008.6

  1. Estimates of the number of eligible voters are likely overestimates because among those who are ages 18 or older and who are U.S. citizens, some are prohibited from voting in some states. This group includes felons or those who are mentally disabled (McDonald and Popkin, 2001).