Voting Behavior of Naturalized Citizens: 1998-2006
Sarah R. Crissey, U.S. Census Bureau
Thomas File, U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. foreign-born population is 37.5 million, with 15.8 million naturalized citizens. Research documents that naturalized citizens are less likely to register and vote than native-born Americans. Since Bass and Casper’s (2002) baseline national estimates from the 1996 Current Population Survey (CPS), 5 million more citizens have naturalized. Given population changes and the increasing political debate over immigration, we explore how nativity influences voting behavior across a decade of elections. Using the CPS, we address whether naturalized citizens continue to be less likely to register and vote, and whether the nativity status effect is consistent in presidential and congressional elections. Our results suggest that, net of social and demographic factors, naturalized citizens are less likely to register and vote than native-born citizens across all years, with evidence that this negative association has increased across the decade. Furthermore, we find nativity has a stronger effect in congressional versus presidential election years.
Presented in Poster Session 3