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Distribution lead actors in films in the U.S. 2011-2019, by ethnicity

In 2019, 27.6 percent of lead actors in movies in 2019 were people of color, marking an increase of just one percent from the previous year but almost double the share recorded in 2016. Whilst white actors still made up the majority of lead actors in theatrical films, trends show proportionate representation is gradually edging nearer.

Distribution of lead actors in movies in the United States from 2011 to 2019, by ethnicity

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Release date

February 2020


United States

Survey time period

2011 to 2019

Number of respondents

2011 n=172; 2012 n= 172; 2013 n = 174; 2014 n = 163; 2015 n = 168; 2016 n = 173; 2017 n = 167; 2018 n = 139; 2019 n = 145

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Statistics on "Minorities in Media in the U.S."

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