The 2008 election was historic in many ways. One of those was the turnout rate for young black voters.
According to a report on the election from The Pew Research Center, Dissecting the 2008 Electorate: Most Diverse in U.S. History, for the first time in American history young blacks (aged 18-29) had a higher voter turnout than young white voters:
All told, 58.2% of eligible young voters took part in the 2008 election. This was the all-time highest voter turnout rate for young black voters.
Despite these record numbers, the turnout rate for young black voters was lower than the overall black turnout rate. The turnout rate for all black voters was 65.2%, and 66.1% for all white voters.
These are some other stats concerning young voters and the 2008 elections from the Pew Report:
• The voter turnout rate among black eligible voters ages 18 to 29 was 8.7 percentage points higher in 2008 than in 2004—58.2% versus 49.5%.
• Voter participation among white eligible voters ages 18 to 29 was down slightly in 2008 compared with 2004—52.1% versus 52.3%.
• Young Latino eligible voters increased their voter participation rate to 40.7% in 2008 from 35.5% in 2004.
• The voter turnout rate among Asian eligible voters ages 18 to 29 was up 10.5 percentage points, to 42.9% in 2008 from 32.4% in 2004. This was the largest increase among all racial and ethnic groups for that age group.
Of interest, the turnout rate for young whites was slightly down form 2004. The decrease was very small, but it is a decrease. This may reflect that Republican voting in the election was down. According to a report from American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate, Republican turnout declined in 44 states and the District of Columbia and increased in only six—none by a greater amount than two percentage points.