The Latino voting bloc, which greatly affected the outcome of the 2012 election by supporting President Obama with more than 70 percent support, will double in size by 2030 according to an analysis of election data by the Pew Hispanic Center.
Nonetheless, the nation’s 53 million Hispanics represent 17 percent of the U.S. population but only 10 percent of voters in the 2012 election. Latinos still “punch below their weight,” the Pew report states, borrowing a boxing metaphor.
The ascension of Latino voters in terms of their significance to the American electorate is poised to rapidly increase because they are by far the nation’s youngest ethnic group. Their median age is 27 years, and just 18 among native-born Hispanics, while white non-Hispanics come in at 42 years old.
According to Pew Hispanic Center projections, Latinos “will account for 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate in the U.S. between now and 2030, at which time 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote, up from 23.7 million in 2012.”
A major takeaway from the analysis was that 40 million Latinos did not vote. Among them are 11 million adults who were eligible but chose not to, but there were also more than 5 million legal residents who are not naturalized and 7.1 million undocumented immigrants. Pew noted that immediate post-election comments by leading lawmakers on both sides may lead to a law which creates a pathway to citizenship and greatly increase the number of Latino voters.
Lastly, of course, there were 17.6 million Latinos who are under the age of 17 and too young to vote — for now.