A higher percentage of black voters took to the polls in 2012 than white voters for the first time ever in the U.S., according to Census Bureau data released Wednesday.
The report, The Diversifying Electorate -- Voting by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections), concluded 66.2 percent of eligible black voters participated in last year's presidential election, compared to 64.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
READ THE REPORT (http://bit.ly/Censusstudy)
White voters also contributed to a significant decline in voting nationwide from 2008 to 2012, with about two million less white votes tallied than four years earlier. Conversely, more black, Hispanic and Asian voters showed up to vote than in 2008.
"Blacks have been voting at higher rates, and the Hispanic and Asian populations are growing rapidly, yielding a more diverse electorate," said Thom File, a sociologist in the Census Bureau's Education and Social Stratification Branch and the report's author. "Over the last five presidential elections, the share of voters who were racial or ethnic minorities rose from just over one in six in 1996 to more than one in four in 2012."
The study also reported continued gender and generational gaps. Four percent more of eligible women voted in the U.S. than men, while 71.9 percent of those 65 or older voted, compared to 41.2 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds.
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