More than 1.5 million people work in the federal government. A new Office of Personnel Management report reveals that the proportions of white workers and men in the government are higher than their proportions of the US population overall. This is especially true at the senior level.

What is the racial and ethnic breakdown of the federal government workforce?

Just over 61% of the federal government workforce identifies as white, while 18.2% identifies as Black. These figures are higher than the overall percentage of Americans identifying as white (59.3%) and Black (12.6%).

Hispanic Americans are the most underrepresented group in the federal workforce. Despite representing 18.9% of the US population, they are 9.5% of the federal government workforce.

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The percentage of non-Hispanic white federal employees decreased just slightly from 63.3% in 2017 (the first year of the data) to 61.2% in 2021.

How does this change at the senior level?

At the senior executive level, the workforce is less racially diverse. Just under 76% of senior federal executives are white, compared to 61.2% of the total federal workforce.

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Every other racial/ethnic group was less represented at the senior executive level than they were in the federal workforce overall. The federal government is working to address the needs of underserved communities, including people of color, LGBTQI+ individuals, parents and pregnant individuals, religious minorities, and first-generation students, among others.

What is the gender breakdown of the federal government workforce?

Of all federal government employees, 55.6% identify as men. That increases to 62.2% of federal government employees at the senior level.

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What other measures of diversity does the federal government track?

The report also provided data about veterans and workers with disabilities.

Veterans have long been overrepresented in the federal workforce. Despite being 5.6% of the overall labor force, they were 30% of the federal workforce, with half identifying as disabled.

Overall, 16.6% of the total federal workforce identifies as having a disability, higher than the overall 12% of the United States that is disabled. The federal government hopes to set the gold standard for equity and accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Where does this data come from?

This data comes from a new Office of Personnel Management report. The report is a result of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order EO 14035, which tasked the office with creating a data-driven approach to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce. Over 557,000 employees took part in the survey.

Read more about the Black representation in the government and changing demographics in the US.

DEIA Annual Report
Last updated
February 15, 2023

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