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Hispanics made up 7 percent of voters in the 2010 congressional election, the highest percentage for a nonpresidential election since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting this information in 1974. Hispanics comprised 6 percent of voters in 2006.
Blacks also increased their share of the electorate, going from 11 percent in 2006 to 12 percent in 2010 (a figure not statistically different from the record high in 1998).
These numbers come from Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2010, a set of tables that compares voting and registration patterns by demographic, social and geographic characteristics. They also include state figures on voting and registration.
“These statistics show that the nation's electorate is becoming increasingly diverse,” said Tiffany Julian, of the Census Bureau's Education and Social Stratification Branch. “The electorate looks much different than when we first started collecting these data 37 years ago.”
The Asian share of the electorate in 2010 was not statistically different than the share in 2006 (2.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic white voters decreased from 80.4 percent of the electorate in 2006 to 77.5 percent in 2010, a decline of 2.9 percentage points.
Other highlights from the tables: