Bridging the Gap Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. Previous work has shown that context influences the political participation rates of certain minority groups. However, few have tested exactly what drives this relationship. In this article, we assess one possible mechanism: the effect of co-ethnic population size on the acquisition of political knowledge. Our argument is that ethnic context helps condition information acquisition among co-ethnics, which, in turn, affects political engagement. Focusing on Latinos, we show that co-ethnic population size in a county matters and importantly, that as the Latino population increases, political information gaps between citizens and non-citizens decrease considerably. Finally, we show similar results regarding levels of political interest and discuss how both knowledge and interest may condition behavior.

altmetric score

  • 5.08

author list (cited authors)

  • DeSante, C. D., & Perry, B. N.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • October 2015