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In a stunning confirmation of the power of the African-American vote, the Census Bureau confirmed Wednesday that in the 2012 elections, African-Americans voted at a higher rate than non-Hispanic whites. In a major report, the Census Bureau documented that in the 2012 Presidential Election, two-thirds (66.2%) of eligible Black voters voted.  Compared to just 64.1% of eligible non-Hispanic whites.  The 2012 election was the first time African-Americans have voted at a higher rate than whites since the Census Bureau started publishing statistics on voting by the eligible citizen population in 1996. Also for the first time, in Indiana, African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than Blacks nationally! The Census reported that 68.4% of eligible African-Americans Hoosiers voted in the 2012 Presidential election.  Just 59.0% of white Hoosiers voted last November.Nationally, Blacks were the only race or ethnic group that showed a significant increase in voting (from 64.7% to 66.2%) between the 2008 and 2012 elections. In another stunning statistic, the Census Bureau report showed that 80.3% of eligible Black voters in Indiana were registered to vote for the November 2012 election.  Higher than the national Black voter registration rate of 73.1%. Overall, nationally, the percentage of eligible citizens who voted declined from 63.6% in 2008 to 61.8% in 2012. In Indiana, 59.3% of eligible citizens voted in 2012, compared with 63.3% in 2008The increase in 2012 in voting among Blacks continues what has been a long-term trend. The 68.4% of African-Americans in Indiana who voted last year was the 11th highest of any state’s African-American eligible voters. Mississippi had the highest percentage of its African-American citizens voting (82.4%), followed by North Carolina (80.2%), Wisconsin (78.5%), Washington DC (76.8%), Illinois (71.8%), Ohio (71.7%), Louisiana (69.5%), South Carolina (69.3%), New York (69.2%) and New Jersey (68.5%). Indiana’s high voter turnout was greater than some states with huge African-American populations including Maryland (67.5%), Missouri (67.3%), Virginia (67.2%), Georgia (65.0%), Pennsylvania (65.2%), Michigan (63.3%), Texas (63.1%) and Tennessee (61.1%).Since 1996, turnout rates have risen 13 percentage points to the highest levels of any recent presidential election.In contrast, after reaching a high in 2004, non-Hispanic white voting rates have dropped in two consecutive elections. Between 2008 and 2012, rates for non-Hispanic whites dropped from 66.1 percent to 64.1 percent. As recently as 1996, Blacks had turnout rates 8 percentage points lower than non-Hispanic whites.. Both Blacks and non-Hispanic whites had voting rates higher than Hispanics and Asians in the 2012 election (about 48 percent each). Other national trends in the 2012 elections showed that the number of Blacks who voted increased 1.7 million from 2008 to 2012. Likewise, the number of Hispanics who voted increased by 1.4 million and the number of Asians by 550,000. But, the number of non-Hispanic white voters declined by about 2 million ─ the only such drop for any single-race group between elections since 1996. The Census Bureau also confirmed the “gender gap” between women and men voting continues. In every presidential election since 1996, women have voted at higher rates than men. In 2012, the spread was about 4 percentage points. The gender gap was especially wide among African-American Black voters – 9 percentage point spread between Black women and men. Also in 2012, there were large declines in youth voting among all race groups and Hispanics. But significantly, the only race/Hispanic-origin/age combinations showing voting rate increases in 2012 were Blacks ages 45 to 64 and 65 and older. The Census Bureau Report is titled The Diversifying Electorate – Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections). Click to read:Census Bureau Report on 2012 Election and Voting