In just one generation the number of Latino eligible voters will grow to 40 million, double today's current number and greatly increasing the political clout of the nation's largest minority.
Latinos will account for 40 percent growth among overall eligible voters between now and 2030, bringing the total number of eligible Latino voters to 40 million, up from 23.7 million today, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.
At 11 percent, the Latino electorate is nowhere proportional to its population because Latinos are younger and have relatively low civic and naturalization engagement. "To borrow a boxing metaphor, they still "˜punch below their weight,' " the report's authors wrote.
Driving the number of new eligible Latino voters will be those born in the U.S. who will age into the electorate, the report indicated. Each year, some 800,000 U.S.-born Latinos turn 18. By 2030, this number could grow to 1 million per year, the researchers calculated.
Pew's study echoes an earlier analysis by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute that shows much of the growth, also driven by Latinos who are U.S. citizens aging into the electorate, will be in the Southwest and states with growing minority populations such as Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, and New York.