Carl Smith, Governing, January 15, 2021
Less than 10 percent of the legislators in state bodies are Black. Most strikingly, there are only 13 Black Republicans among the more than 7,500 men and women serving as state senators or representatives.
African American representation was 9 percent in 2015, according to Amanda Zoch, a policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislators. Twenty-five states have seen their percentages of Black lawmakers inch upward since then, though Black Americans are still underrepresented compared to their share of the population.
“Maryland has the largest African American presence, at 29 percent, and Black lawmakers make up at least a quarter of the legislatures in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina,” says Zoch.
[Editor’s Note: The interactive map is available at the link below.]