The percentage of eligible Hispanic voters dropped in the 2012 U.S. presidential election but the actual number of voters increased by 1.4 million, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Last year, 48 percent of eligible Hispanic voters participated compared to 49.4 percent in 2008, the study showed. More than 11.1 million Hispanics cast votes in the 2012 election and now make up 10.8 percent of the electorate.
African-Americans (66.2 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (64.1 percent) voted at a higher rate than Hispanics (48 percent) and Asians (47.3 percent), according to the report. This is the first time that African-Americans have voted at a higher rate than whites since the Census Bureau started publishing statistics on voting by eligible citizens in 1996.
As recently as 1996, African-Americans had a turnout rate just 8 percent higher than Hispanics. But since the presidential election that saw Bill Clinton get re-elected, the turnout rate has increased by 8 percent, the study shows.
The U.S. Census reported that non-whites made up 26.3 percent of all voters in the 2012 election, a record share.
Hispanics and minorities were widely credited with helping President Obama win re-election last year. The Republican Party has launched several initiatives to court Hispanic voters, who voted decisively Democratic in the past election.
The study by the U.S. Census Bureau is available here.
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