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Some minority voters gain ground, others don’t

Some minority voters gain ground, others don’t

It’s no secret that North Carolina is growing, but as its population grows, the composition of its electorate is changing as well.

Over the past eight years, racial data on registered voters collected by the North Carolina State Board of Elections shows one group growing faster than every other.

The Office of State Budget and Management says that North Carolina is one of the five fastest growing states in the country over the past two years. In 2016, North Carolina’s population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 10.16 million people, but current estimates put it near 11 million, an increase of roughly 850,000.

That lines up pretty closely with the increase of 957,627 registered voters in the state from Jan. 1, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2024. Overall, the number of registered voters has increased 14.9% during that time to 7.4 million.

The number of White voters during that time grew by 5.8% to 4.8 million, outpacing nearly every other racial group reported by NCSBE. Registration among Blacks, the state’s second largest racial group, increased by 2.5% to 1.5 million. American Indians saw registration growth of 3.2% to 54,000.

Hispanics, however, have seen their numbers more than double since 2016, from 130,747 to 284,777 — an increase of 117.8%.

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Although women are traditionally viewed as a “minority” group due to disparities in pay and access to power in boardrooms and legislative bodies, they actually comprise a slight majority of the population both in the United States and in North Carolina.

Among registered voters in North Carolina, women hold a substantial majority; currently, 3.7 million voters self-identify as women, good for 49.9% of all N.C. voters.

Men, on the other hand, make up 42.4%, with 3.1 million registered.

An estimated 7.7% of applicants declined to identify their gender, as demographic information is an optional category on the voter registration form and doesn’t need to be filled out in order to register.

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