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Fewer young New Yorkers voted in 2012

Rochester Business Journal
April 28, 2014

The number of young people who voted in 2012 in New York declined from the number of young voters in 2008, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows.

Some 42 percent of individuals in New York age 18 to 29 voted in the presidential election in 2012, down from 47 percent in 2008. Twelve percent of individuals in that age bracket registered but did not vote, up from 9 percent in 2008, according to data from Young Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964-2012.

Voting rates typically are higher in years with presidential elections than in congressional election years, the report states, and voting and registration rates tend to increase with age. Some 41.2 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds nationally voted in the 2012 election, while 72 percent of those 65 and older voted.

In every presidential election from 1964 on, 18 to 24-year-olds voted at lower rates than all other age groups, the report states. Americans 65 and older have voted at higher rates than all other age groups since the 1996 election.

“Although young adults have been historically less inclined to vote than older individuals, in 2012 young voters were more engaged in states where older populations were highly engaged as well,” said Thom File, a sociologist in the Census Bureau’s social, economic and housing statistics division. “At the very least, this suggests that low voting rates among young adults can vary according to geography and other factors.”

Some 67.9 percent of individuals statewide were registered to vote in 2012, while 58.7 percent of total individuals statewide actually voted, the data shows. That compares with 65.8 percent who registered in 2008 and 58.8 percent who voted. In 1996 some 70.2 percent of individuals were registered to vote and 58.7 percent actually voted in that presidential election.

Women tend to have a higher voting rate than men. In 2012 some 61 percent of women in New York voted, while 57 percent of men did.

Education plays a role in voting: Some 77 percent of individuals with an advanced degree voted in the 2012 presidential election in New York, while 38 percent of those who did not complete high school voted.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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