Georgia's changing electorate

Since the last presidential election, Georgia's electorate has changed in ways you might and might not expect.

By: Kristina Torres and Jennifer Peebles
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

G eorgia’s electorate heading into Tuesday’s presidential election has changed in the past four years. Just not in all the ways many of us might expect.

Yes, white voters in Georgia hold a shrinking share of the rolls; they’re still a majority, but their dominance has waned as registration grows increasingly diverse in areas across the state. Latinos and Asian-Americans, too, continue to vastly outpace their peers in signing up to be voters — a sign of the state’s increasingly diverse population. But as a whole, the rolls also reflect a graying group of voters.
The biggest increase in the electorate since 2012 — when Georgians last voted for president — are in voters who are at least 52 years old, according to the latest data from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.


Map: Change in nonwhite voters since 2012

Most Georgia counties have seen their portion of nonwhite registered voters rise since 2012. But some have become more white. Mouse over each county to see how much it has changed.

Here’s a look at who’s eligible to vote in Tuesday’s presidential election based on final registration numbers collected Oct. 24, after the state’s deadline to qualify for the rolls. By comparison, we looked at who was on the state’s voter rolls just after the last presidential election in 2012.

By the numbers — who are voters?

6.1 million registered voters in 2012

6.6 million registered voters in 2016

46 percent are men, roughly the same as four years ago.

54 percent are women.

56 percent are white, a decrease of nearly 3 percentage points.

30 percent are black, about the same.

2 percent are Latino. The number of registered Latino voters is 42 percent larger than 2012.

2 percent identify as Asian. The number of registered Asian voters is more than one-third higher than in 2012.

10 percent identify as “other” or declined to identify their race or ethnicity. The number of registered voters falling into this category has increased by one-third in the past four years.

Millennials (ages 18-34) now make up about 29 percent of voters. This age group now represents nearly 1 percent less of Georgia’s voters than it did in 2012.

GenX voters (ages 35-51) make up about 28 percent of voters, a decrease of nearly 2 percentage points.

Baby boomers plus (52 and older) — at 42 percent of the state’s voters, an increase of almost 5 percentage points.


Percent change in share of Georgia registered voters from 2012 to 2016

A snapshot: Where do they live?

Bulloch and Clarke counties have the largest share of voters 30 and younger, an effect of being home to major universities (Georgia Southern and the University of Georgia, respectively).

The largest share of female voters? Dougherty County, in southwest Georgia. But metro Atlanta’s Clayton is in third place. According to the data, women outnumber men as registered voters in each of Georgia's 159 counties.

Latino voters don’t just live in metro Atlanta: Whitfield County in northwest Georgia — home to Dalton and its carpet manufacturing plants — has the highest proportion of Latino voters (11 percent of the electorate). The next two: Hall County, 7 percent; and Gwinnett County, 6 percent.

Counties with the greatest percentage of voters who registered since the March 1 presidential primary: Yes, the metro Atlanta core counties, but also Chatham County on the coast and Stewart and Chattahoochee counties on the southwestern edge of the state.

The whitest electorate in the state: Towns County in North Georgia (95 percent of voters).


Map: Growth in registered voters

See which counties had the largest influx of registered voters since 2012 and see which ones have suffered a decrease.

Metro Atlanta

Gwinnett County is now majority-minority — just 47 percent of its voters are white.

Cobb County registered voters are 59 percent white.

DeKalb County rolls are now 67 percent minority — black voters represent the county’s largest share at 53 percent; 33 percent of voters are white.

Fulton County now has an almost even number of white and black voters — 40.6 percent black and 40.1 percent white.

Clayton County has the lowest percentage of white registered voters, with slightly less than 13 percent.

What happened between 2012 to 2016

Voters in Cherokee and Forsyth counties are getting younger; they were among counties with the biggest increases in voters ages 34 and younger.

Rural voters are getting older. Counties that lost the most voters age 34 and younger were Taliaferro, Wheeler, Clay, Treutlen and Telfair.

Rockdale and Clayton are among counties that lost the largest percentages of white voters.
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Staff writer Isaac Sabetai contributed to this article.