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.