Race, ethnicity of Utah officials somewhat track population

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — White people hold disproportionately large majorities in Utah’s Legislature and congressional delegation, but the overrepresentation of whites isn’t as extreme as some states.

Utah’s population is about 79 percent white, and about 90 percent of the state’s 104 lawmakers are white, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and National Conference of State Legislatures.

That puts Utah in about 35th place among states for white over-representation compared with the state’s general population. Delaware, the state with the biggest disparity, has a 64 percent white population but a 90 percent white state legislature.

The percentage of Utah lawmakers who are black or have Asian heritage generally mirrors the state’s population of both minority groups. About 3 percent of the state’s residents have Asian heritage, and 1 percent are black.

Hispanics and Native Americans are both underrepresented in the Utah’s statehouse.

About 14 percent of the state’s 3 million people are Hispanic, but only about 3 percent of Utah’s lawmakers have a Hispanic background.

Utah has no Native American legislators, but 1 percent of the state’s population is Native American.

Meanwhile, five of the six members of Utah’s congressional delegation are white. That’s about 83 percent — slightly higher than portion of the state’s overall population that is white.

That ranks Utah 47th for white overrepresentation in Congress compared with the rest of the state’s population. Next-door Nevada has the biggest disparity, with a 51 percent white population and an all-white congressional delegation.

None of Utah’s six congressional representatives claims any Hispanic, Native American or Asian ethnic background, according to data from Congress.

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