Tuesday, February 19, 2008

African American Voter Registration Rates by State

In a previous chart, we noted that there are over 7 million Latino citizens who are not registered to vote. Nationally, African-American citizens have a much higher voter registration rate than Latino citizens -- 69% to 58%. But at 7.5 million, the unregistered African American population is just as numerous.

The chart below shows that younger African Americans are less likely to be registered to vote than their parents. About 1.7 million college-age African Americans (43%) are not registered.

The map below shows state-by-state voter registration rates (as a percentage of black voting age population) reported by African Americans for the 2004 presidential election. Registration rates range from a low of 49.7% in New York to a high of 87.6% in Missouri.

Click a state on the map to see detailed stats.

African American Voter Registration Rates by State
(percent of the AA voting age population)

View Larger Map

Due to statistical sampling issues, rates for several states with relatively small numbers of African Americans were not calculated by the Census Bureau. These states are shown in white on the map.

After discounting for the higher non-citizen African American population in states such as New York and Florida, there is less interstate variation. Massachusetts has the lowest African-American citizen registered voter rate -- 54.2%.

View Map of African American Registration Rates by State
(percent of citizen voting age population)

Latino Voter Registration Rates by State

You can review similar state-by-state maps depicting Latino voter registration rates via the links below.

View Map of Latino Voter Registration Rates by State
(percent of voting age population)

Just one state on the Latino registration by voting age map -- New Mexico -- has a rate above 50%.

Once non-citizens are removed from the voting age base, Latino voter registration rates improve markedly -- from a low of 33.3% in Tennessee to a high of 76% in Ohio.

View Map of Latino Voter Registration Rates by State
(percent of citizen voting age population)

Non-Hispanic White Voter Registration Rates by State

With over 37 million voting age persons who are not registered to vote, the non-Hispanic white population is still the big enchilada. Voter registration rates are slightly higher across-the-board for whites vis-a-vis African Americans.

Tennessee (64.1%) has the lowest white registered voter rate as a percentage of the white voting age population, while North Dakota is highest (89%).

Sources and Additional Information

These maps and charts are based on a spreadsheet (see table 4a) from the Census Bureau website -- Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004. A detailed narrative report released in 2006 can be downloaded here.

This Census Bureau report provides state-level voter registration and citizenship rates for the voting age population by race and age group. The data is compiled from self-reported survey responses to the November 2004 Current Population Survey. Unfortunately, the report does not provide registration data for Native Americans even though they comprise a significant portion of the electorate in several states.

Non-incarcerated disenfranchised felons are included in the CPS, which means that the voter eligible unregistered population is overestimated by the CPS in states where voting rights are not restored to felons upon release from prison. See our next post for details on felon disenfranchisement.

See also web-based state profile voter reports comparing the 2000, 2004, and 2006 elections from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Do you need more specific registration detail for local GOTV efforts? Most of the interactive maps we produced leading up to the 2004 election have voter registration data mapped thematically. Four GOTV map sets -- Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina -- show the unregistered African American population by precinct and include hundreds of printer-ready Adobe maps for canvassing.

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