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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.

Go deeper

A racial breakdown of the House

Data: Brookings Institution and House Press Gallery; Note: The Democratic numbers add up to more than 221 because five Democratic representatives were counted in two race/ethnicity categories. Chart: Sara Wise and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The 117th Congress is the most ethnically and racially diverse Congress yet, but the House Republican ranks remain far more white than that of their Democratic counterparts.

Why it matters: American demographics are rapidly changing, with the nation projected to be majority minority in 2045. Representation has improved in Congress, but only about 28% of House members are Black, Hispanic, Asian or indigenous — even though those groups make up 39% of the total population, according to census data.

Feb 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

David Perdue will not run for Senate seat in Georgia in 2022

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) announced Tuesday that he will not enter the race for U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2022.

Why it matters: The 2022 election will play a key role in determining which party controls the Senate after Republicans — including Perdue — lost two Georgia seats to Democrats during last month's dual runoffs.

The long history of racist attacks against Asian Americans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A rise in assaults against Asian Americans last year seems primarily tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Some Asian Americans also worry that heightened tensions between the U.S. and China and growing fears of China's espionage activities stateside could make them more vulnerable to racist attacks.

Driving the news: There were more than 2,800 incidents of verbal and physical assaults directed at Asian Americans in 2020, according to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization founded early last year to track hate crimes against people of Asian American Pacific Islander heritage, Axios' Shawna Chen reports.