Posted on January 27, 2023

As the Share of White Texans Continues to Shrink, the Legislature Remains Mostly White and Male

Alex Ura and Carla Astudillo, Texas Tribune, January 11, 2023

The Texas Legislature has reached an overdue milestone in its history: Enough women lawmakers have now been elected over the course of 177 years to fill all 181 seats of a single legislative session, and then some.

The Legislature that convened Tuesday for its 2023 session is still mostly white and male. Seventy percent of lawmakers are men. At least 54% of lawmakers are white and nearly half are white men. But the incoming Legislature also has the highest number of women lawmakers in at least the last five sessions.


While the share of white Texans continues to shrink, the racial and ethnic composition of the Legislature continues to fall short of matching the state’s demographics.

If the composition of the Legislature were aligned with the state’s demographics, there would be close to an equal number of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white lawmakers. Instead, there are still more than twice as many white legislators as Hispanic legislators. Hispanic Texans make up 40% of the population but hold just 25% of seats in the Legislature.

The dearth of diversity is particularly bad among Republicans, who hold a large majority of legislative seats. The GOP did make some strides in the last election. The number of Republicans of color increased from five at the start of the 2021 legislative session to 11 this year.

The return of state Sen. Pete Flores to the Capitol means Republicans in the Senate won’t all be white this legislative session. {snip}

Though largely outnumbered on a partisan basis, Democrats have a more diverse slate of lawmakers. Roughly half of Democrats in the Legislature are Hispanic, and there are more Black Democrats than there are white.