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Last modified: Wednesday, March 3, 2004

New census data on people of voting age

Campaign 2004 -- How many votes might be out there across Indiana?

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Where will political candidates from all parties and for many offices be spending their time for the next eight months of this election season? Certainly they will be in those states and counties that have the most eligible voters -- and the most of particular types of voters.

The U.S. Census Bureau will release figures on the voting-age population -- male, female, Hispanic, black, white and other races -- on Thursday (March 4).

An initial review by the Indiana Business Research Center of the Census 2000 data (which provide citizenship status and age -- two essentials for voting eligibility) shows Hoosier women with a slight advantage over their male counterparts in sheer quantity of those who meet the citizenship and age requirements. The Indiana Business Research Center is housed in the Kelley School of Business on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.

The review indicates where Indiana ranks in citizenship rates of the adult, voting-age population. West Virginia is first on this measure, for example, with Indiana ranking 17th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The review also shows that nearly 65 percent of Hoosier Hispanics were citizens when counted as part of Census 2000, compared to only 50 percent of people who identified their race as Asian.

What the data do not show are the number of people actually registered to vote and characteristics that politicians will need to focus on as the election season heats up. Independent polling and surveying are expected to help answer questions such as: How many of these people are soccer moms or NASCAR dads?

Here are additional data from the review:

  • Of Indiana's voting-age population, 97.8 percent are citizens. This ranks Indiana 17th among the 50 states and District of Columbia.
  • Of Indiana's voting-age males, 97.4 percent are citizens. Among voting-age females, 98.2 percent are citizens. Indiana ranks 17th and 15th, respectively, on these gender-based measures.
  • The state with the highest proportion of voting-age citizens is West Virginia at 99.4 percent. California ranks last at 81.2 percent, six percentage points lower than the next-to-last ranked state, New York (87.2 percent).
  • The total U.S citizenship rate for those 18 or older is 92.4 percent. Forty states exceed this percentage.
  • Of Indiana's 92 counties, Ohio County is ranked No. 1 with a 100 percent citizenship level. This is the only county in Indiana that has no non-citizens of voting-age, though it also has the smallest 18-and-over population. Marion County, which is home to Indianapolis, ranks 86th at 96.5 percent. Monroe County, home to Indiana University, ranks 89th at 95.5 percent, while Tippecanoe County, home to Purdue University, ranks last at 92.6 percent.

For more information, contact Carol O. Rogers, IBRC associate director and governor's liaison for census, at 317-274-2205 or, or Vincent Thompson, economic research analyst and representative to the Federal-State Cooperative on Population, at 812-855-7472 or

Reporters can access these data at

The Indiana Business Research Center will provide an Excel file with their tabulations specific to Indiana on Thursday. See or call Rogers or Thompson at the numbers above.