Libertarians More Diverse than You Realize, but There’s Just One Problem


Though Fewer in Number, Libertarians Come in All Colors

By: Elias J. Atienza

According to surveys conducted by The Cato Institute and YouGov, libertarians are much more diverse than previously thought. Despite the popular notion that libertarian circles are made up of nearly all white males, libertarians come from all backgrounds.

The survey conducted by the Cato Institute found that of those who self-identified as libertarians, 71 percent are Caucasian, 14 percent are Latino, 5 percent are African-American, 8 percent identify as another race, and 4 percent chose not to identify their race.

Courtesy of the Cato Institute

This is close to the racial demographics of the United States. According to 2010 census data, 63 percent of Americans were white, 12 percent were black, 16 percent were Latino, and the rest were Asian, American Indian, or some other race.

In addition to this, self-identified millennial libertarians match racial demographics. According to a survey conducted by Reason, of millennials who self-identified as libertarian, 56 percent are white, 21 percent are Latino, 14 percent are African-American, 8 percent are Asian, and 1 percent identify as another race.

Courtesy of the Cato Institute

YouGov conducted a poll last year where they found that 16 percent of whites, 17 percent of Hispanics, and 10 percent of African-Americans agreed that they self-identified as libertarians.

Some may say that this isn’t an accurate depiction of libertarians. However, the Cato Institute averaged these numbers across many surveys.


However, there still persists one evident issue:

There are almost twice as many libertarian males as there are libertarian females. According to the Cato Institute, “Averaging across the nine Reason-Rupe surveys and a Cato/YouGov survey between 2012-2015, 63 percent of self-identified libertarians are male and 37 percent are female.”

Courtesy of the Cato Institute

Add this to a Pew Research survey that found that 15 percent of men identified as libertarians versus 7 percent of women and a YouGov poll that found 21 percent of men identified as libertarians, versus 10 percent of women.

Libertarians are much more diverse than the popular thought that they are white men. Especially among millennials, libertarians are becoming much more diverse. This can be seen, as Gary Johnson captured 16 percent of the Latino vote in a recent Fox News Latino poll and is winning among millennials.

According to a new poll conducted by IBD/TIPP, Gary Johnson captured 33 percent of the 18-24 vote, which is only 5 percent less than Hillary Clinton. In addition, he got 9 percent of black and Hispanics, which is only six percent fewer than Trump’s 15 percent.

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