Of the 513 members of the Chamber of Deputies—as Brazil’s lower house is called—elected last Monday (Oct. 7), only 125 identify as black. Official figures indicated that the number of black Congress members rose close to five percent from 2014’s 106.
Still, representation is considerably low: 75 percent present themselves as white, while those identifying as brown and black total slightly over 20 percent. There are also those who say they are Asians (0.389 percent), and indigenous (0.19 percent).
Over 54 percent of the Brazilian population is formed by black people (black and brown are usually considered together), also according to official figures.
Of the total 442 people competing for a seat as federal deputy throughout the country who identify as black, only 21 managed to win.
The northeastern state of Bahia stood out as the one that contributed most considerably to increasing black representation in the lower house. Rio de Janeiro, in the Southeast, elected six. Bahia also heads the list with the states electing brown federal deputies. Of the 104 names with a post, 13 were chosen by Bahia citizens.
Of the total 32 senators elected last Sunday, 14 said they are black. The house is made up of 81 members and declared they do not have official figures regarding senators’ racial identity from the previous elections.