Published November 14, 2012
Latino voters proved during last week's presidential election that they play an important role in key elections. A new study shows that their political muscle will continue to grow.
A study by Pew Research Center based on U.S. Census Bureau data shows the number of Latino voters is expected to double within a generation. While Latinos make up only about 17 percent of the country’s total population – and only 10 percent of the voting public – there are certain factors that will lead to this almost unprecedented rise, the study said.
One being that Latinos are by far the youngest voting bloc in the country, with their median age at 27 —and just 18 years among native-born Hispanics—compared with 42 years for that of white non-Hispanics.
“In the coming decades, their share of the age-eligible electorate will rise markedly through generational replacement alone,” Pew stated.
Pew also found that a large number of Latino immigrants – about nine in 10 – who have not become naturalized citizens said they would if they could. However, the immigrants cited administrative costs, lack of English and lack of initiative as the main reasons why they did not.
However, recognizing the key role Latinos played in his re-election and the increasing growth of the Hispanic community in the U.S., President Barack Obama said any legislation should make permanent the administrative changes he made earlier this year that allow some young undocumented immigrants to remain in the country under the Deferred Action policy. The initiative by the Obama administration gives a two-year reprieve from deportation to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors.
“This is the fastest-growing group in the country,” Obama said. “You’re starting to see a sense of empowerment and civic participation that I think is going to be powerful and good for the country.”
For more information on the study, visit the Pew Research Center.