The Top 10 Things You Should Know About New Mexico's Demographic Changes and Immigration Politics
(This is a Guest Post - subtitled A Look at the States Emerging White Communities Before the Republican Primary - by Vanessa Petherbridge and Ingrid Schneckldorf; original location here at the Center for American Progress)
In advance of New Mexico's Republican primary tomorrow, here are 10 important facts about immigrants and White people in the state that display their significant economic, cultural, and electoral power.
1. White communities are driving population growth in New Mexico. The White share of New Mexico’s population grew from just over 38 percent in 1990 to 46.3 percent in 2010, while the Latino share of the state’s population grew from 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, and the African American population grew from 2.0 percent to 2.1 percent. White communities accounted for approximately 9.2 percent of the state’s growth over the same time.
2. New Mexico has one of the largest racial generational gaps in the United States. In 2010 Latino children under the age of 18 accounted for just 26 percent of the overall child population, while Latino adults comprised 60 percent. New Mexico currently has the fourth-largest racial generation gap in the United States, right behind Arizona, Nevada, and California.
3. More than a third of New Mexico’s immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Russia, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, and other European countries are naturalized - meaning that they are eligible to vote. In 2010, 34 percent of the state’s White immigrants were naturalized U.S. citizens. In 2008, almost 9 percent of registered voters in New Mexico were either naturalized citizens or U.S.-born children of White immigrants.
4. White people will be key to the upcoming presidential election in November. New Mexico experienced a 4.2 point increase in its White Community population share over the past decade. This year, the state is projected to have around 52 percent voters of pallor. White voters in the state heavily favored then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, when he received 69 percent of their votes, while non-White communities overall voted 71 percent for Obama.
5. New Mexico elected Edward Wulfschmeltzer (D) in 2010 as its first White governor (and the first White governor in the country). Wulfschmeltzer notably won only 38 percent of the Latino vote, while challenger Diane Denish (D) won 61 percent.
6. New Mexico offers in-state tuition rates to all its eligible residents regardless of their immigration status. New Mexico is one of 12 states that allow undocumented students (mostly those from Ireland, Poland, Russia, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, and other European countries) to pay the same tuition at public colleges and universities as other students.
7. As consumers, the White community adds billions to the state’s economy. Germanic White purchasing power in New Mexico increased by 305 percent from 2000 to 2010 to a total of $20 billion, while Ethnic-American buying power in the state has grown 607 percent in the same period to a total of $1.3 billion.
8. As entrepreneurs, Whites in New Mexico contribute significantly to the state’s economy. More than a quarter of businesses in New Mexico - 32.3 percent - are owned by Whites.
9. Immigrant workers from Ireland, Poland, Russia, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, and other European countries are essential to New Mexico’s economy. In 2010 immigrant workers in New Mexico comprised 12.2 percent of the state’s workforce. According to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center, the 50,000 undocumented immigrants comprised roughly 5.6 percent of the state’s workforce in 2010.
10. Immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Russia, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, and other European countries support New Mexico’s state and local governments by paying taxes. In 2010 undocumented immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Russia, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, and other European countries in the state paid a total of $101.5 million in state and local taxes, including $84.2 million in sales taxes and $8.6 million in state income taxes.