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The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Electorate

The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Electorate

In battleground states, Hispanics grew more than other racial or ethnic groups as a share of eligible voters

SEPTEMBER 23RD 2020

BY RUTH IGIELNIK AND ABBY BUDIMAN

The upcoming 2020 presidential election has drawn renewed attention to how demographic shifts across the United States have changed the composition of the electorate.

For this data essay, we analyzed national and state-level shifts in the racial and ethnic makeup of the United States electorate between 2000 and 2018, with a focus on key battleground states in the upcoming 2020 election. The analysis is primarily based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the 2000 U.S. decennial census provided through Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) from the University of Minnesota.

See here to read the data essay’s methodology for further details on our data sources.

Eligible voters refer to persons ages 18 and older who are U.S. citizens. They make up the voting-eligible population or electorate. The terms eligible votersvoting eligiblethe electorate and voters are used interchangeably in this report.

Registered voters are eligible voters who have completed all the documentations necessary to vote in an upcoming election.

Voter turnout refers to the number of people who say they voted in a given election.

Voter turnout rate refers to the share of eligible voters who say they voted in a given election.

Naturalized citizens are lawful permanent residents who have fulfilled the length of stay and other requirements to become U.S. citizens and who have taken the oath of citizenship.

The terms Latino and Hispanic are used interchangeably in this report. Hispanics are of any race.

References to AsiansBlacks and Whites are single-race and refer to the non-Hispanic components of those populations.

Battleground states include Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These states were identified by Pew Research Center using ratings from a variety of sources, see the methodology for more details.

In all 50 states, the share of non-Hispanic White e

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