In anticipation of Latino USA‘s upcoming show about the U.S. Latino vote (send us your voice memos), I plan to share daily historical examples of American politics and Latinos. My first post was about Jackie Kennedy campaigning in Spanish. The second post highlighted the country’s first Latino senator. The third post focused on U.S. Latino voters and the presidency. Last Friday, I focused on Hispandering. Today, I decided to share some numbers.

With the 2016 election beginning to kick into high gear, the attention on U.S. Latino voters continues. It is estimated that by 2016, the over-18 U.S. Latino population will be close to 40 million. It is also estimated that U.S. Latino voters in 2016 will account for about 13% of the country’s eligible voters. But how well do you know the U.S. Latino vote? These three statistical nuggets will impress your friends the next time you talk politics:

Since 2006, the Southeast has seen the fastest percentage of U.S. Latino growth than anywhere else in the country. However, this growth has not led to more voters.

Last year, Pew presented an excellent analysis on the state of the U.S. Latino vote. It stated, “Over the past decade, the Hispanic population has grown most quickly among states in the southeast (Brown and Lopez, 2012). However, much of the growth has come from people not eligible to vote: immigrants (many of whom are not U.S. citizens) and those under 18.”


Such findings coincide with another point Pew reported: the share of U.S. Latinos in the Big Three Latino states (California, Texas and Florida) continues to decrease.

MY TAKEAWAY: Sooner than later, “Latino outreach” will be more and more national, and less and less regional.

According to Gallup, 51% of U.S. Latinos are independents.

In 2012, Gallup produced a poll that I think will soon get updated, but it is one of the most important underreported findings out there. According to Gallup, “A majority of U.S. Hispanics identify as political independents (51%) rather than as Democrats (32%) or Republicans (11%).” Right after that sentence, Gallup wrote this, “However, once their partisan leanings are taken into account, most Hispanics affiliate with the Democratic Party (52%) rather than the Republican Party (23%).”


This year, Pew broke down party affiliations and concluded that the rise of independents continues to trend up among all Americans: “Based on 2014 data, 39% identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans. This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling.”

MY TAKEAWAY: Democrats would be wise to not take the U.S. Latino vote for granted, while Republicans should realize that not having debates on Spanish-language television is not a wise move.

U.S. Latinos are still the youngest group in the country, when compared to other groups.

This one comes from Pew: “In addition, the new Census Bureau estimates show that Hispanics, with a median age of 29 years, are younger than most other racial or ethnic groups. By comparison, the median age for non-Hispanic blacks is 34; it’s 43 for non-Hispanic whites and 36 for Asians. But Hispanics are growing older: In 2010, the group’s median age was 27, up from 26 in 2000.”

MY TAKEAWAY: The national party that can get young U.S. Latinos to vote now will be the party with a long-term future.

What would you add to the conversation? Tweet me @julito77 or add your comments at the bottom of this post.

Featured image: G. De Cardenas/Getty

3 thoughts on “Three Little-Known Facts About the US Latino Vote

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