Latino culture is American culture. A new generation is proving it’s power.
A new generation of Latinx young people, the first born in our generation to leave the United States at a time when our country remains the global leader in terms of diversity in population and political, social and economic strength, are demonstrating the breadth of our collective power to shape American culture and politics.
While this is not the first time such an outcome has occurred, the sheer number of new Latinx voters in the country is a clear sign of the generational shift that is sweeping through the electorate. And the Latino vote has become the fastest-growing political segment, with a three-fold increase in support since 2000.
This year marks the first time in a generation that a new generation of America’s youth, those born after 1990, will be able to register to vote in droves. But Latino youth will also have the political voice of a generation to make sure their voice is heard.
“Our Latinx youth vote will be the voice of the nation’s future for decades to come,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, Chairman of the National Action Network. “And it will be the only voice that matters because this is not just about the next election or some future election, this is who we are as an nation now and this is who we are going to be as a nation for generations to come.”
This year, 18 Latinx youth will make history by registering to vote in the first time in our history and becoming the youngest people ever to have such a privilege. And the momentum will continue for years to come.
Since 2000, the electorate has become more diverse, particularly among Latinx voters: Latinos made up 21% of the voting electorate in 2000, 16% in 2004, 14% in 2008 and 14% in 2012. As many as 28% of all voters are now Latinos, including those younger than 30. The largest single generation now eligible to vote is Millennials, of which 45% are Latino, while the Latino electorate as a whole now includes over