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It’s the most diverse Congress yet, but no Native American or Asian GOP senators

February 23, 2021
Data: Brookings Institution; Chart: Sara Wise and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The 117th Congress is the most ethnically and racially diverse Congress yet, but there are no Native Americans nor Asian Republicans in the Senate.

Why it matters: Representation has improved in Congress, but there have been only 33 Black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American U.S. senators. There are 11 in the current Senate, even though those demographic groups make up 39% of the total population, according to census data.


  • Freshman Sen. Alex Padilla, a Democrat, is the record sixth Hispanic senator, and the first Hispanic senator to represent California.
  • The victory of another Democrat, Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, made him the first Black senator to represent the state.
  • His win also maintained the total number of current Black senators after Kamala Harris resigned to become vice president.

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