In 2012, national youth voter turnout was 45%. However, youth turnout varied greatly by state. Our new state-by-state interactive map (slide one on www.civicyouth.org) includes detailed information on young people in 2012 as well as historical data on youth voter turnout and youth vote choice.
Among the states that had sufficiently large samples, youth turnout in 2012 was highest in Mississippi (68.1%)*, Wisconsin (58.0%). Minnesota (57.7%), and Iowa (57.1%). Voter turnout in 2012 was lowest in West Virginia (23.6%), Oklahoma (27.1%) Texas (29.6%), and Arkansas (30.4%). In every state except Mississippi, voter turnout among those age 30 and above was at least 10 percentage points higher than turnout among 18-to-29 year-olds. You can find more state by state information in our fact sheet “The Youth Vote in 2012.”
In 2012, youth voter turnout was highest in battleground states, regardless of political party affiliation. In general, competition among candidates and parties raises youth turnout.
*Note that although state samples are large enough to meet standard criteria of reliability in the social sciences, all CPS estimates are subject to sampling and non-response errors and the estimates come with margins of error. For example, Mississippi’s youth turnout rate of 68.1% is an outlier compared to past results for that state and region and compared to older Mississippians’ voting rates. Individual state results should be viewed with caution and put in context.
** State’s with “0%” in the state map have insufficient sample size and statistic is not reported by CPS.