Race and Demographics in the Swing Spots

Population in these swing spots varies widely from the large Virginia County of Fairfax with an estimated 2007 population of over 1 million, to Youngstown, Ohio which had a population of less than 90,000. But while Fairfax and Las Cruces are experiencing population growth that is expected to continue through 2012, Youngstown, Elko City, NV and Pueblo City, CO are experiencing slow to no growth at all. All of the areas have a predominately White population, and, except for Youngstown, a strong Hispanic segment. Only Fairfax has a significant, growing Asian segment. When it comes to immigration, the Census counted 24.5% of the population in Fairfax, VA as born outside of the United States while only 1.95% of the population in Youngstown was born outside of the States. But this still leaves the question relevant for the election: How are these population shifts reflected in changes in registered voters?

Swing Area

Estimated Population in 2007*

Is the Population growing?

What are its largest racial / ethnic segments?

Which segments are projected to grow most by 2012?

Fairfax County, VA


Yes – and projected to continue to grow more than 4% by 2012.

White – 65.42%

Asian – 15.54%

Hispanic – 12.83%

Black – 9.18%

Asian – 18%

Hispanic – 16%

Black – 10%

Elko City, NV


No – it lost slightly since 2000 and is expected to hold steady through 2012.

White – 81.07%

Hispanic – 23.04%

Other – 11.25%

No material growth expected across any race or ethnicity.

Las Cruces, NM


Yes – and it is projected to grow by almost 10% by 2012.

White – 68.58%

Hispanic – 53.63%

Other – 21.85%

Hispanic – 12.7%

Other – 11.1%

White – 8.9%

Pueblo City, CO


Yes – but is has been modest.  Less than 1% growth projected by 2012.

White – 75.3%

Hispanic – 46.49%

Some Other Race – 15.99%

No material growth expected across any race or ethnicity.

Youngstown, OH


Noand expected to remain fairly steady through 2012.

White – 52.36%

Black – 41.15%

Hispanic – 5.86%

Hispanic – 11.4%

White 2.1%

Elko, NV

When it comes to age and family status, these places are fairly varied. Although each has roughly quarter of its population under the age of 18, Youngstown has the highest percentage of people over the age of 65 and Fairfax and Elko City have the most married-couple households with kids. In Youngstown, there are more single-parent than married-couple households with kids. What do these differences mean for what voters may care about in this election?

Swing Area

What % of population is over 65?

What % of population is under 18?

What % of households are married with kids?

What % of households are single parents with kids?

Fairfax County, VA





Elko City, NV





Las Cruces, NM





Pueblo City, CO





Youngstown, OH





All calculations here are derived by PolicyMap using data from Census and Claritas, Inc.

Visit Tuesday for Part 3: Education: How educated are its residents? How do local schools measure up?

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