With elections and politics being top of mind for people lately, and headlines sweeping the news about how people are not turning in to vote, I sought to investigate just how much a problem voter registration is among California voters, and if certain age groups really are more at fault for not showing up to vote.
In order of the ten largest California counties by population size, the graph below compares the total population (of voting age) to how many are registered to vote. You can observe that these counties have very similar differences between those eligble to register and who are actually registered. Looking at the data from a high level will not be useful in articulating an answer to our question.
Next I wondered, what is the age makeup of those registered, and is one age group registered to vote more than another?
The graph below shows the percentage of certain age groups that are registered to vote in each county. Here you can also see that not one county has 100% of their voting-age population registered and teeters around the seventieth to eightieth percentile.
Interestingly, of all the counties, the 26 to 35 year olds make up the largest registered group in San Francisco, just over 20%. Whereas just across the pond in Contra Costa, almost 20% of those registered to vote are over 66, possibly indicating the age make-up of that area.
The numbers surprised me. I thought the numbers showing people who are registered to vote would be much lower. I also expected the numbers to be heavily skewed to one side with regards to what age group has more registrants. What this also tells me is I'd much prefer to look at how many people within their own age group are registered to vote as opposed to comparing them to the entire population. For example, of all the 18-25 year olds in Los Angeles, what percent of them are registered to vote?
If I were to continue browsing data to further analyze my initial question, I would like to compare ethnic groups and political groups and see if registration differs there. I would also compare the counties with the lowest populations to see if there is correlation between population size and registration, or population size and political affiliation.