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Black women are a powerful electorate with the proven ability to decide elections. But our political capital has yet to translate into a representative number of Black women holding office or robust, long-term policies that effectively address our concerns. The following data offer insight into our current political landscape, successes and challenges, providing information that can help us create strategies that move us toward leadership parity and effective policies.

Black women are a voting powerhouse

  • 16 million Black women are eligible to vote, and 67% are registered.
  • Black women made up 17% of voters who cast ballots in the 2017recent U.S. Senate special election in Alabama, but they account for less than 14% of the state’s population.
  • 94% of Black women voters supported Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election.
  • 96% voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, providing the margin he needed to win two presidential terms.

67%

Percentage of eligible black women registered to vote

Black women are increasingly running and winning

  • 24 Black women—the most ever—are serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • The 2nd Black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate is currently serving.
  • Black women are currently 4.3% of all state legislators compared to 2.3% in 1999, and they make up nearly 15% of all women state legislators today. 
  • Black women are serving as mayors in 7 of the nation’s 100 most populous U.S. city compared to just 1 in 2014.

But, we still lack representation in important chambers of power

  • Black women are 6.8% of the population, yet they account for just 4.1% of all members of the House and 1% of the Senate.
  • Only 6 Black women currently hold a statewide office, and a total of 15 have ever held a statewide office.
  • Although more Black women are serving in state legislatures, we hold just 317 of the countries 7,383 state legislative seats. 
  • No Black woman has ever served as governor in our country’s 243-year history.

6.8%

Percentage of the population made up of Black women

3.7%

Percentage of all elected officials that are Black women

0

Number of Black women ever elected governor