America is built on the ideal that all people are equal and have a stake in how our nation is governed. While we may not always succeed, ours is a history of pursuing this vision. It’s not enough that women and citizens of all races can vote—every American must have equal access to lead.
Our report revealed that the face of America’s leadership did not reflect our country’s changing demographics. At all levels, white men maintained a powerful hold on political representation. We analyzed the 42,000 people who made up our elected political leadership, from the President down to the county level.
- 90% of officeholders were white, compared to only 63% of the population.
- Men held 71% of elected offices, even though they were 49% of the population.
- White men held 65% of elected seats, although they were 31% of the population— effectively constituting a “veto-proof minority” in our political system.
- The pattern of de-facto exclusion of women and people of color from elected office began far below the national level, with state- and county-level offices also showing stark disparities.
In the Media
According to ‘Who Leads Us,’ a report issued earlier this month by the Reflective Democracy Campaign…, the makeup of American politics is still overwhelmingly dissimilar to the demographics of the country.Who’s Missing From the Midterm Elections, The New Yorker
The folks at Who Leads Us… have posed an interesting question about the state of politics: Do we live in a reflective democracy? The short answer is no, and the long answer is also no.White men are 31% of the US population. They hold 65% of all elected offices, The Washington Post
The fact that white men are vastly overrepresented in Congress is probably not news to anyone. But this discrepancy does not just exist at the federal level. It is prevalent across all levels of government.Report: Every Level of Gov’t is Suffering From a Serious Woman Problem, The New Republic