The Latino Electorate in 2010: More Voters, More Non-Voters

The Pew Hispanic Center just issued a report on Latino participation in national elections. The number voting is increasingly strongly but participation rates remain low. According to the Center:
More than 6.6 million Latinos voted in last year’s election—-a record for a midterm—-according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Fueled by their rapid population growth, Latinos also were a larger share of the electorate in 2010 than in any previous midterm election, representing 6.9% of all voters, up from 5.8% in 2006.
However, while more Latinos than ever are participating in the nation’s elections, their representation among the electorate remains below their representation in the general population. In 2010, 16.3% of the nation’s population was Latino, but only 10.1% of eligible voters and fewer than 7% of voters were Latino. This gap is due to two demographic factors—-many Latinos are either too young to vote or are adults who do not hold U.S. citizenship.
Even so, the number of Latinos eligible to vote continues to increase. In 2010, 21.3 million Latinos were eligible to vote, up from 17.3 million in 2006. In recent midterm election cycles, growth in the number of eligible voters has exceeded growth in the number of voters, resulting in a record number of Latino non-voters last year too—-14.7 million.
Among eligible voters, Latino participation rates have lagged behind that of other groups. In 2010, 31.2% of Latino eligible voters say they voted, while nearly half (48.6%) of white eligible voters and 44.0% of black eligible voters said the same.
The report, “The Latino Electorate in 2010: More Voters, More Non-Voters,” authored by Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center, is available at the Pew Hispanic Center’s website, www.pewhispanic.org.

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