About 1-in-10 Americans who are eligible to vote in the upcoming election are naturalized citizens, a number that has almost doubled in the past 20 years, according to a Pew Research report released Wednesday.
"We often think about voters through the lens of race and ethnicity, but a growing part of the electorate are immigrants," Mark Hugo Lopez, the director of global migration and demography research at Pew and an author of the report, told NBC News. "And while most are Asian or Hispanic, there are significant numbers of black immigrants and white immigrants, too.
Pew found the number of naturalized citizen voters has risen from 12 million in 2000 to 23.2 million in 2020, an increase of 93%. About 34% are Latino, and 31% are Asian. The largest number of immigrants hail from Mexico, at 3.5 million, followed by immigrants from the Philippines with 1.4 million, India with 1.2 million, and China with 1 million.
About one-quarter of Latino voters in the U.S. are immigrants, about two-thirds of Asian American voters are immigrants, about 8% of African American voters are immigrants, and about 3% of white voters are immigrants.
"While our report explores the demographics of immigrant eligible voters, it doesn’t explore the reasons for naturalization," Lopez added. "Even so, in the past we've found that among Hispanic immigrants who are eligible to naturalize, voting is one of many reasons why they choose to naturalize."
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