Election Lesson: Changing Demographics Matter

One of the take home lessons of last Tuesday’s election is the importance of demographics, specifically how they change and how those changes can affect the outcomes of an election.

In terms of the United States, the Hispanic population increased from 13% of the population in 2000 (35.3 million) to 16% of the population (50.5 million) in 2010.  In Missouri, the change was less dramatic; Hispanics made up a little more than 2% of the population in 2000 (116,000), while in 2010 they made up a little more than 3.5% (212,000).

In America, blacks made up 12.3% of the population in 2000 and 12.6% of the population in 2010.  In Missouri, blacks made up 11.1% of the population in 2000 and 11.7% of the population in 2010.  Whites in the US accounted for 75.1% of the population in 2000; they shrunk to 72.4% of the population in 2010.  In Missouri, whites were 84.8% of the population in 2000 and 83.1% of the population in 2010.

The proportions of the age groups in the eligible electorate shifted as well.  Those ages 45-64 in Missouri were just over 30% of the population 18 or older in 2000; this age group’s share of the population grew to more than 35% in 2010, likely driven by the baby boomers; this same shift appeared at the national level as well.  There was a corresponding decrease in both the U.S. and Missouri in the 18-44 age range.

Source: American Community Survey and 2010 Census