The voting demographics in the United States have changed noticeably over the last 30 years.
As you can see in these charts from a recent Wells Fargo note, back in 1984 — which saw Ronald Reagan’s re-election — 87% of the registered voters were white, 10% were black, and 3% were Hispanic.
Fast forward thirty years, and the percentage of white registered voters has fallen to 76%, while registered blacks made up 12%, and registered Hispanics made up 8%.
Plus, registered Asian voters, who didn’t even break into the chart back in 1984 — made up 3% last year.
But race demographics aren’t the only thing that’s changed in 30 years: age demographics have shifted as well.
Thirty years ago, there was pretty much an even split between the three age groups of 18-34, 35-54, and 55 and up.
But in 2014, voters in the 55 and up category made up a larger percentage (43%), while registered voters in the 18-34 zone made up a smaller one (23%).
And while the make-up of registered voters is interesting, as Wells Fargo’s Chief Economist John Silvia notes, what matters is who shows up.
“Even with shifting demographics among registered voters,” Silva writes, “the actual makeup of the individuals voting in the next election could look very different depending on actual voter turnout.”
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