Latinos in the 2014 Election: Washington
This profile provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Washington.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 Washington’s Eligible Voter Population
- The Hispanic population in Washington is the 12th largest in the nation. About 808,000 Hispanics reside in Washington, 1.5% of all Hispanics in the United States.
- Washington’s population is 12% Hispanic, the 15th largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally.
- There are 299,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Washington—the 12th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally. California ranks first with 6.4 million.
- Some 6% of Washington eligible voters are Hispanic, the 18th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter share nationally. New Mexico ranks first with 40%.
- Some 37% of Hispanics in Washington are eligible to vote, ranking Washington 39th 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 Washington (39%) are ages 18 to 29, higher than the share of all Latino eligible voters nationwide (33%) and the share of all Washington eligible voters (21%) and of all U.S. eligible voters (22%) in that age range.
- Citizenship and Nativity. Among Hispanic eligible voters in Washington, 21% are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is less than 25% of Hispanic eligible voters in the U.S., but just 8% of all eligible voters in Washington and of eligible voters in the U.S. overall are naturalized U.S. citizens.
- Hispanic Origin. Hispanic eligible voters in Washington are predominantly of Mexican origin, as is true nationwide. Nearly three-in-four (72%) Hispanic eligible voters in Washington are Mexican. An additional 6% are Puerto Rican and 20% are of some other Hispanic origin. Among all U.S. Hispanic eligible voters, 59% are Mexican, 14% are Puerto Rican and 27% are of some other Hispanic origin.
- Educational Attainment. About two-in-ten Latino eligible voters in Washington (22%) have not completed high school, almost triple the 8% of all Washington eligible voters who have not completed high school and about the same as the 23% of Hispanics nationwide who have not completed high school.
- Homeownership. About half of Hispanic eligible voters (49%) in Washington live in owner-occupied homes, less than the 56% of all Hispanic eligible voters nationwide. Greater shares of all eligible voters in Washington (66%) and eligible voters nationwide (67%) live in owner-occupied homes.
Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Washington, by Race and Ethnicity
- Number of Eligible Voters. White eligible voters outnumber Hispanic eligible voters in Washington by 13 to 1. Hispanic eligible voters are about equal to Asian eligible voters, and they outnumber black eligible voters by almost 2 to 1.
- Age. Latino eligible voters are younger than white, Asian and black eligible voters in Washington. Some 39% of Latinos are ages 18 to 29, compared with 19% of white eligible voters, 21% of Asian eligible voters and 25% of black eligible voters.
- Educational Attainment. Hispanic eligible voters have lower levels of high school education than do white, Asian and black eligible voters in Washington. Some 22% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma, compared with 6% of white eligible voters, 12% of Asian eligible voters and 9% of black eligible voters. Hispanic and black eligible voters have similar levels of college education, with 17% of Hispanics and 19% of blacks attaining at least a bachelor’s degree. Higher shares of white (31%) and Asian (41%) eligible voters have a bachelor’s degree or more.
- Homeownership. Hispanic eligible voters (49%) are more likely to live in owner-occupied homes than black eligible voters (38%) in Washington, but are less likely to live in owner-occupied homes than white (69%) or Asian (74%) 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. ↩