Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Electorate Most Diverse in History

The electorate in 2016 will be the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history, according to the most recent report from the Pew Research Center. Nearly one in three eligible voters (31%) will be Hispanic, African-American, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29% when President Obama last won the White House in 2012. And the demographic shifts are expected to continue. While the 156 million eligible non-Hispanic white voters still outnumber the 70 million eligible minority voters, the non-Hispanic white voter growth is slower and will continue to lose electorate share. Already the group dropped from 71% of the electorate in 2012 to 69% in 2016. In fact two-thirds of the net growth in the U.S. electorate has come from racial and ethnic minorities, up 7.5 million eligible voters since 2012, compared to the addition of just 3.2 million non-Hispanic white voters. Non-Hispanic whites are losing ground because of the higher mean age of the group, leading to a higher death rate and a smaller percentage of new young voters who turned 18 since 2012. Immigrants, though a contentious issue in the current presidential race, are not a key growth driver for any group but Asians. Some 60% of new Asian voters came via naturalization, compared with just 26% of new Hispanic voters since 2012. However, turnout rates may reduce the initial impact of these demographic shifts, adds Pew Research. In 2012, 64% of non-Hispanic white and 67% of black eligible voters actually cast ballots, compared with just 48% of Hispanic and 47% of Asians. For more data, see http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/03/2016-electorate-will-be-the-most-diverse-in-u-s-history/

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