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American Governors 2019

  1. Demographic Facts for the United States
  2. Generational Breakdown
  3. Gender and Generation
  4. Ethnicity and Generation
  5. Partisanship and Generation
  6. Governors Who Started as Young Elected Leaders
  7. Notes

 

Demographic Facts for the United States

According to the numbers of the United States Census Bureau from 2010, the largest generation in the U.S. is the Boomer Generation (25%).1,2 With 22.2%, the second largest generation is the Millennial Generation. About 21% of the U.S. population belong to Generation X. The smallest generation is the Silent Generation with 11.3%.

In 2018, 50.8% of the American population was female.3 About 60% of the population was White, 13.4% Black/African American, and 18.1% Latino/Hispanic. Almost 6% were Asian American, and 1.3% American Indian/Alaska Native. About 0.2% were Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. There were almost 3% that belong to two or more categories.

 

Generational Breakdown

Most of the U.S. Governors currently serving in office belong to the Boomer Generation. Almost 30 percent belong to the Generation X. One Governor, Repulican Kay Ivey, belongs to the Silent Generation. With age 74, she is the oldest currently serving Governor. There are no Governors from the Millennial Generation. The youngest is Governor Ralph Torres representing the Marina Islands. He was born in 1979 and belongs to Generation X.

 

Generational Composition of U.S. Governors

Generational Composition of Governors in Office in 2019

 

Gender and Generation

Of the 55 U.S. Governors, 45 are men and 10 are women. Of the 38 Governors belonging to the Boomer Generation, 6 (almost 16 percent) are female. The percentage of women in Generation X is slightly higher with almost 19 percent (3 out of 16 are female). Five of the 10 women currently serving as Governor began their political careers as Young Elected Leaders.

 

Gender by Generation of U.S. Governors

Gender by Generation of Governors in Office 2019
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Ethnicity and Generation

Almost of 88 percent of the Governors currently serving in office are White/Caucasian. In the Boomer Generation, almost 90 percent of the Governors are White/Caucasian. Governors belonging to Generation X are 81 percent White/Caucasian.

  • Lou Leon Guerrero, Governor of Guam, is the only Asian/Pacific American among Governors (Boomer Generation)
  • Albert Bryant Jr., Governor of the Virgin Islands, is the only Black/African American Governor (Generation X)
  • David Ige, Governor of Hawaii (Boomer Generation) and Lolo Moliga (Boomer Generation) are the only Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Governors
  • there are 3 Hispanic/Latinx Governors
    • Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico (Boomer Generation)
    • Ricardo Rossello Nevares, Governor of Puerto Rico (Generation X)
    • Ralph Torres, Governor of Marina Islands (Generation X)

 

Ethnicity by Generation of U.S. Governors

Ethnicity by Generation of Governors in Office 2019
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Partisanship and Generation

Almost half of all governors are members of the Republican Party (28 of 55). Twenty-five are Democrats (including Timothy Waltz, who belongs to Minnesota’s Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party DFL). One governor is an Independent, and other belongs to the Puerto Rican PNP.

There are generational differences with regard to partisanship. Slightly more governors belonging to Generation X are Democrats. In the Baby Boomer Generation, there are more Republicans than Democrats. Governor Kay Ivey of the Silent Generation belongs to the Republican Party.

 

Partisanship by Generation of U.S. Governors

Partisanship and Generation of Governors in Office 2019
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Governors Who Started as Young Elected Leaders

Of the 55 Governors currently serving in office, these 12 began their political careers as Young Elected Leaders:

 

U.S. Governor State Political Party Current Age First Elected Office Age First Elected
Brown, Kate Oregon Democrat 58 Oregon House of Representatives 31
Cooper III, Roy North Carolina Democrat 61 North Carolina House of Representatives 30
DeWine, Richard Michael Ohio Republican 72 Ohio State Senate 33
Ige, David Hawaii Democrat 62 Hawaii House of Representatives 28
Lamont Jr., Edward M. Connecticut Democrat 65 Greenwich Board of Selectmen 26
Noem, Kristi L. A. South Dakota Republican 47 South Dakota House of Representatives 35
Polis, Jared S. Colorado Democrat 43 Colorado State Board of Education 25
Reynolds, Kimberley K. Iowa Republican 59 Treasurer, Clarke County 35
Torres, Ralph D. G. Mariana Islands Republican 39 Mariana Islands House of Representatives 29
Trafton Mills, Janet Maine Democrat 71 District Attorney 33
Whitmer, Gretchen E. Michigan Democrat 47 Michigan House of Representatives 29

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Notes

1 The Young Elected Leaders Project collects and analyzes data on young elected officials across the country.  We define Young Elected Leaders as officials 35 years and younger. We define the generations following the Pew Research Center:

  • Millennial Generation: 1981-1996 (age 22-37)
  • Generation X: 1965-1980 (age 38-53)
  • Baby Boom Generation: 1946-1964 (age 54-72)
  • Silent Generation: 1928-1945 (age 73-90)

2 Single Years of Age and Sex, 2010, United States. U.S. Census Bureau.

3 QuickFacts United States, U.S. Census Bureau.

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