About 75 people attended the first Boston Latino Conference, held on Oct. 13 in East Boston, the heart of the Latino community in the city. At 21,419, the Latino population makes up 52.8 percent of the total population in East Boston, up from 39 percent in 2000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
In Massachusetts as a whole, Latinos make up 9.6 percent of the population and constitute 6 percent of all the state’s eligible voters. But Latino voter turnout has been low in the state, following a national trend. A record 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the country, up by more than 4 million, or 22 percent, since 2008, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. However, in the last presidential election, the Latino turnout rate was 50 percent, lagging behind the rates for African Americans (65 percent) and whites (66 percent).
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