Political Engagement Trends of Latino, African American, and Asian Youth
Young people in America are an increasingly diverse group with varied political and ideological views and different ways of engaging in political and civic life.
Our most recent analysis looks at differences in electoral engagement among youth of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, with separate fact sheets about African American, Asian American, and Hispanic young people. The fact sheets present both findings and recommendations for how to better engage youth of different ethnic backgrounds in the short and long terms.
Some noteworthy findings:
– Perhaps in part because of the “Obama effect,” Black youth had the highest voter turnout rates in each of the last three elections (2008, 2010, 2012), and the highest registration rates in the last two presidential cycles. At the same time, young African Americans remain the most “under-mobilized” group, meaning those who register but do note vote.
– Gender matters: 37% of young Black men consider themselves “conservative” and 19% voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Only 18% of young Black women consider themselves “conservative” and just 1% voted for Romney.
- Turnout among Asian American youth decreased from 43% to 36.2% in the 2012 election—the lowest rate among youth of different ethnic groups—and young Asians generally lag far behind their peers in voter turnout and registration rates.
– Young Asian Americans are significantly more likely than youth of other ethnic groups to donate to charitable organizations.
- Nearly 40% of young Hispanics are civically alienated and their voting rates in the last three elections have been among the lowest across all racial and ethnic groups
– Latino youth saw an increase of 46.6% to 48.9% in their voter registration rates between 2008 and 2012, even as youth of other racial and ethnic backgrounds all experienced declines.