Texas

How diverse is the 2023 Texas Legislature compared to the state’s population?

Austin. As Texas lawmakers return to Austin on Tuesday for the 2023 legislative session, there will be more whites in the Legislature than the rest of the state’s population, according to an analysis by Dallas Morning News shows.

As the demographics of Lone Star State changed from being majority white to the current state, with Texas Hispanics and non-Hispanic white Texans accounting for roughly an equal share of the state’s population, the change has not been the same in the Capitol.

About 62% of legislators in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are white, despite the fact that white Texans make up about 40% of the state’s population. About 24% of legislators are Hispanic, although Hispanics make up about 40% of the population and outnumber white Texans by some estimates.

Black legislators make up 9% of the Legislative Assembly, while black Texans make up 13% of the state’s population. Asian legislators make up 3% of the Legislative Assembly and Asians make up 6% of the state.

The breakdown shows how the legislature has changed from 2021 to 2023. Revelations: there were no significant changes. In 2021 Texas Tribune broke the total number of MPs: 110 whites, 46 Hispanics, 19 blacks, and 4 Asians.

Ahead of the 2023 session: 111 whites, 43 Hispanics, 19 blacks and 6 Asians.

AND Morning news An analysis last month showed the Legislature is much older and more male than the state’s population.

Since the November midterm elections, gains have been made: the number of Republican women in the House of Representatives has doubled, the LGBTQ caucus has expanded, and the first two Texas MPs from a Muslim state have been elected.

But in a state where the Republican Party tightly controls the government, it is not surprising that the racial and ethnic composition of legislators is different from that of the state.

“The demographic composition of the Legislative Assembly usually follows party patterns. The Republican base remains an older and more English-speaking party, so Republican members tend to fall into those categories,” said University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghouse. “For Democrats, the backbone of the party is always exclusively African American and increasingly Hispanic, so you see those trends as well.”

The composition of the House is more closely aligned with the demographics of the rest of the state. About 60% of MPs are white, 24% are Hispanic, 11% are black and 4% are Asian. There is one legislator from the Middle East who puts “other” on the US census. The Morning News was unable to verify the demographic information of one member of the House of Representatives.

There are 86 Republicans and 64 Democrats; 104 men versus 46 women. Of the 36 Hispanic members, 32 are Democrats and 4 are Republicans. Of the 17 black deputies, 16 are Democrats, 1 is from the Republican Party, Congressman-elect Charles Cunningham, a modest Republican. Cunningham, a freshman who won Rep. Dan Huberty’s seat, is the only black GOP in the Legislature.

The House of Representatives also increased the number of Asians as Congressmen-elect Dr. Suleman Lalani and Salman Bhojani became the first South Asians.

The Senate is much less representative of the demographic makeup of Texas. About 70% of its members (22) are white, followed by 23% (7) Hispanics and 6% (2) blacks. There are no Asian senators.

In terms of partisan and gender breakdowns in the Senate, there are 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Senate; 23 men and 8 women.

When it comes to the state’s nine elected officials, from the governor to the railroad commissioners, they’re all white. In 2021, eight state leaders were white and one was Hispanic, Land Commissioner George W. Bush.

But since Bush decided to run for attorney general – a race he lost in the GOP primary to incumbent Ken Paxton – the post of land commissioner has been left vacant. Don Buckingham, a Lakeway Republican and state senator, was elected to the position.

Buckingham is the first woman in state history to hold the post of land commissioner.

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