May 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: The rise and fall of voter turnout

Data: Analysis by Brooking Institution's William H. Frey of U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Forty-four states plus Washington, D.C., saw an increase in voter turnout in 2020 compared to 2016, according to a new census data analysis by the Brookings Institution that was reviewed by Axios.

By the numbers: Turnout for non-college-educated, white voters — a key voting bloc for Donald Trump — dropped in just six states. Meanwhile, turnout for white college grads fell in 15 states, and non-white voter turnout fell in 13.

  • Despite being a critical battleground state, turnout in North Carolina fell from 2016.
  • Black voters in South Carolina played a critical role in Joe Biden's nomination as the Democratic candidate, but the state saw the biggest decline in non-white voter turnout — dropping 11 percentage points.
  • The blue state of New Jersey landed at the top for voter turnout (excluding Washington, D.C.). The state saw a whopping 30-point jump among 18- to 29-year-olds, and made the greatest gains of any state among non-white voters and white, college-educated voters.
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