Lowell Voter Demographics: 2011 City Election
This is the second of a series of posts that look at the voters of Lowell. The first broke down all registered voters by gender, party and age. This one will do the same for the 9500 or so people who voted in the 2011 city election. One caveat: I’m using several databases from different times and with varying degrees of accuracy so the numbers might not match the calculations of others with mathematical precision, but they are good enough for our purposes here.
Of the 54,943 people registered to vote on January 1, 2013, 9,513 of them (17%) voted in the 2011 city election (a few hundred who voted in 2011 are no longer Lowell voters for any number of reasons).
The gender breakdown in the city election was identical to that of all voters: 51% female v. 49% male.
Based on the 2011 election, Democrats are more likely to vote in (nonpartisan) city elections than are Republicans or Unenrolled voters. Of all registered voters, Unenrolled make up 50%, Democrats 40%, and Republicans 9%. In the 2011 election, 47% of those who voted were Democrats; 45% were Unenrolled; and 8% were Republicans.
Regarding the age of voters, I’ve grouped everyone into decade-long cohorts (20-29, 30-39, etc) except for those under 20 and those 90 or older. I report what percentage of the overall voter pool that age cohort represents. I also report what percentage of that cohort voted:
Those under age 20 represent 3% of all registered voters but only 1% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. Only 4% of the under 20 age cohort voted in that election (i.e., only 58 of 1506 voters under the age of 20 voted).
Those in their 20s represent 20% of all registered voters but only 5% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. Only 4% of the 20-29 cohort voted (488 of 11,213).
Those in their 30s represent 18% of all registered voters but only 9% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 9% of the 30-39 cohort voted (902 of 9,876).
Those in their 40s represent 17% of all registered voters and accounted for 17% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 17% of the 40-49 cohort voted (1,628 of 9,497).
Those in their 50s represent 18% of all registered voters and accounted for 24% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 23% of the 50-59 cohort voted (2,245 of 9,967).
Those in their 60s represent 12% of all registered voters and accounted for 21% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 29% of the 60-69 cohort voted (1,973 of 6,749).
Those in their 70s represent 6% of all registered voters and accounted for 14% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 40% of the 70-79 cohort voted (1,372 of 3,413).
Those in their 80s represent 4% of all registered voters and accounted for 8% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 34% of the 80-89 cohort voted (755 of 2,211).
Those age 90 and older (there are a few in their 100s) represent 1% of all registered voters and accounted for 1% of those who voted in the 2011 city election. 18% of the 90+ age cohort voted (92 of 511).
Observations? The group that accounts for the most votes is the 50-59 cohort (2245 votes from this group of a total of 9513 cast). The group that contains the most reliable voters is the 70-79 cohort (1,372 of 3,414 voted which is 40%).
Coming tomorrow: a similar breakdown for the June 25, 2013 US Senate special election.
3 Responses to Lowell Voter Demographics: 2011 City Election
Do you have ethnic breakdowns for those voters? Great job! Thanks,
Sengly – the official voter database doesn’t indicate ethnicity but that doesn’t mean we can’t do that ourselves. It would be a lot of work but would also be valuable and informative. Thanks for transforming this data into a chart on Facebook.
Great post. Fascinating. In a nonpartisan election, I would have thought the voting numbers would have mirrored the registered numbers though I have literally no basis for said thought. Clearly, that was wrong. I look forward to data on the US Special and if you take requests, how about the 2012 Presidential General? If needed, I could help. I think those 3 elections could help shed some light on current voting trends. A few takeaways I see from the data:
1. The 47% Democrat turnout means an extra 665 D leaning votes, enough to put a few candidates over the top. The question is: Are these Warren/Markey Ds, Lynch Ds (Stephen not Bernie), and/or Brown Ds? I think comparing the 3 elections may shed light on that.
2. Very surprised that only 8% of Rs voted, that’s only 761 votes or roughly the number of 80 year olds who voted – 755. The 70-79 demo crushed them, 1,732-761. Not good comparators if you are trying to build a party.
3. While the 20-49 demo should be driving the conversation with 55% of registered voters, their actual numbers, 3,028 were bested by the 60-79 demo, with 3,345 votes, more than 10%.
4. The low %s on 18-29 is not unexpected but the 30-39 numbers were woeful, 902 voters. Again that is way too close to number of 81-99 voters – 847.
5. The sad fact is the best voters are 50-99. And it does not appear that one votes more often as they get older considering the overall downward numbers over the past 50 years in local, state and federal elections. It looks like it is generational issue where the Greatest and pre-Boomers take the most fundamental and arguably ultimate right of voting far more seriously than the Boomers, Gen X, or Millennials. Unless this changes, the numbers are only going to continue to go down where at some point maybe only 12-15% of citizens vote and determine our future. Not a good thing. Somehow, 25-33% seems like the right number. Maybe comparing the other numbers will show some glimmers of hope, though the numbers of US Special were dismissal. I assume I was like a good number of people, I had to force myself to vote.
Note: For what it is worth, I am un-enrolled.