April 30th, 2009
12:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Black, white voters participated at roughly equal rates in 2008

(CNN) - Last year - for the first time in U.S. history - black and white voters voted at roughly the same rates, according to a new study.

The overall turnout rate barely budged, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center - and turnout among white voters actually declined - but in another first, participation by black women was the highest of any gender or race. Nearly 69 percent of black women voted in November.

The difference between black and white turnout rates dropped from 7 percent in 2004 to less than 1 percent last year, a statistically insignificant gap.

The report, using Census data and the results of a Tufts University study, also found that roughly one in four voters last cycle were black, Asian or Hispanic - a new high mark for minority turnout, and double the rate 20 years ago.

The Hispanic electorate grew by more than 21 percent from the previous presidential cycle, according to researchers, with the group now accounting for nearly one in ten voters nationwide.

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