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Q: Minorities in US government ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Minorities in US government
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: amh15-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 Sep 2002 16:50 PDT
Expires: 16 Oct 2002 16:50 PDT
Question ID: 65759
What are the percentages of racial minorities in US congress and senate?

Clarification of Question by amh15-ga on 16 Sep 2002 16:52 PDT
[looking for separate % figures for House of Representatives and Senate]
Subject: Re: Minorities in US government
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 16 Sep 2002 17:57 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear amh15, 

According to the Senate's site <> "More than
13,000 individuals who have served in the national legislature,
including the Continental Congress, the Senate, and the House of
Representatives". Of these people, a very meager amount - sometimes
less than a percent and always less than their share in the population
- are members of minority groups.

According to the Senate's site, only three Senate current Senate
members are minorities - two Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (both D
Hawaii) and one Native American (R Colorado) (see: US Senate, "Senate
Statistics" <>). That is 3%
of the members of the Senate, and way beyond the national average for
these and other groups.

In the House of Representatives, There are 66 minority members - "1 is
Native American, 38 are African American, 21 Hispanic and 6 Asian
(source: Congressman Tom Barrett, "About the U.S. House Of
Representatives" <>).
Basically, that means that about 15% of the members are minority.

The Congressional Black Caucus is a group of the African American
representatives in the Congress. They write, that "103 African
Americans in total have taken their place in United States history as
Congressional leaders, chosen to represent diverse communities".
Currently, there are 38 African Americans in the Congress - all in the
House of Representatives, "14 women and 24 men" (source for both
quotes: CBC, "Origins and History of the
Congressional Black Caucus, 1870 - 2002",

The CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION adds, "Following the 1990 census,
redistricting throughout the country increased the number of
African-American and Hispanic majority districts. After the 1992
elections, the number of African-American members of the House of
Representatives jumped from 26 to 39. ... Blacks, who make up about 12
percent of the U.S. population, hold about 7 percent of the seats in
the House of Representatives today." (Source: "Race and
Representation" <>)

Although only a political - not numerical - minority, it may also be
noted that "Women today are 11% of the members of Congress - 11.5% of
the members of the House of Representatives, and 9% of the Senate"
(and 51% of the population).

Further Reading 
"Racial and Political Minorities in the House of Representatives: What
We Can Expect in the Next Century?," in The U.S. House of
Representatives: Reform or Rebuild? (J. Zimmerman & W. Rule, eds.,
Praeger Press, 2000)

Robert J. McKeever "Race and Representation" CSD Bulletin, Autumn 97 
Volume 5 Number 1 

My search strategy included the words "senate", "house of
representatives" and "congress" with specific names of minorities
("african americans") as well as the words "minority" or "minority

I think that answered your question. However, if you feel you need a
clarification, please let me know.
amh15-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Seemed like a straightforwad question but I couldn't find an answer
myself. Very nice response.

There are no comments at this time.

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