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Hispanic millennials become a formidable voting bloc

New data shows Hispanic millennials will comprise nearly half of eligible Hispanic voters in 2016.
By Ann Marie Awad   |   Jan. 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A record 27.3 million Hispanic voters will be eligible to vote in the 2016 election, more than any other racial or ethnic group.

A new Pew Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows the median age of the nation's 35 million U.S.-born Hispanics is 19.

Pew estimates about 3.2 million Hispanics will have come of voting age in the last four years.

The second-largest surge of eligible Hispanic voters -- 1.2 million -- is due to naturalization of people from Latin America who have immigrated to the United States.

Immigration from Puerto Rico also plays a part. Those who live on the island are considered U.S. citizens, but cannot vote in the presidential election unless they migrate to the mainland. More than 130,000 have done so since 2012, settling mostly in Florida.

Hispanic voters are projected to comprise a record 11.9 percent of the electorate in 2016, coming close to blacks, who make up 12.4 percent. However, historically, less than half of Hispanics turn out to vote in elections.

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