The Joint Center’s August report found that people of color account for 40 percent of the U.S. population, but only 11 percent of U.S. Senate office top staff (chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors). An earlier report found that people of color account for 38 percent of the U.S. population in 2018, but only 13.7 percent of U.S. House top staff.
The charts below include racial diversity data on top staff hired by new Members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate for the 117th Congress. The top staff in this table were offered and accepted staff positions by the new Members for the 117th Congress which started on January 3, 2021.
To provide corrections to the data below send an email with “CORRECTION” in the subject matter line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This data was last updated on May 25, 2021.
For the maps, hover over each state or congressional district to view the percentage of top staff of color by the Member of Congress. The red states indicate Republican Members, and the blue states indicate Democratic Members.
For the tables, click on the column titles to sort by ascending or descending order, or use search box to find a particular Member, district, or state.
The point of index, which ranks Members based on diversity of their staff, is calculated by subtracting the percentage of a Member’s constituents who are people of color from the percentage of top staff of color in the Member’s office. For example, a Member with 0% top staff of color and a 75% POC district would be at a -75 point of index (poor performing). A Member with a top staff that is 66% POC who represents a 33% POC district would be at a 33 point of index (high performing). The table is set to be sorted by the point of index.
TBD = To be determined because we have no information that the position(s) has been filled.
* = This data has not yet been confirmed by the Member’s office or the staffer.
** = Two emails have been sent to the Member’s office but the office has not responded to correct or confirm the data.
AAPI = Asian American/Pacific Islander
MENA = Middle Eastern/North African
Additional key data for the table can be found below.
Racial Diversity of Top Staff of New Members in the U.S. Senate (Map)
Racial Diversity of Top Staff of New Members in the U.S. Senate (Table)
Racial Diversity of Top Staff of New Members in the U.S. House (Map)