The representation gap: Women and people of color are underrepresented in every state legislature

ByRachel Thomas

In the 2018 midterm elections, more people of color and women are running for office than ever before.

About 22% of candidates in this election cycle are people of color, according to a New York Times analysis. If elected, these state congressional candidates of color could help close the representation gap in their state legislatures.

Nevertheless, according to a Mic analysis, white residents are still overrepresented in every state legislature — even in states whose populations are majority people of color, such as Texas, New Mexico, California and Hawaii. Alaska is the least inclusive, with a gap of about 31% in representation of people of color in its state legislature.

Meanwhile, women are also underrepresented in every state legislature, according to a Mic analysis. Wyoming is the least inclusive state for women, with a gap of about 38% in representation. Even the most inclusive state legislatures, Arizona and Vermont, still have more than a 10% gap in representation of women.

About 28% of candidates this year are women, according to the Times analysis. According to the analysis, male residents are still overrepresented in every state legislature — despite 38 out of 50 states having populations that are majority women.