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NCARB releases diversity data for 2016

There’s good news—and plenty of room for progress

Illustration by Sunra Thompson

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)—a D.C.-based non-profit licensing organization—collects data annually on the gender and racial demographics of licensed architects across the U.S. And the latest numbers are in.

The biggest takeaway? The profession is making modest, if slow, gains. Nearly two in five new architects in the U.S. are women, NCARB reports, and the number of new architectural license candidates of color rose slightly in 2016, to about 30 percent of total candidates. (NCARB notes that in the last U.S. census, conducted in 2010, 38 percent of Americans identified as people of color.)

Graphic courtesy NCARB

NCARB data also shows that racial diversity among actual license holders plateaued over 2015, but signs point to, at least, a nominal increase in licensed architects of color by the next census, in 2020.

In many ways, this new data confirms what Curbed found when, earlier this year, we turned a magnifying glass on the architecture industry, asking members of the profession what they felt their peers could do to increase racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in its ranks. The answers varied widely, but there was general consensus that making professional opportunities available to a broader base of architecture students must be a priority for the industry.

Want to learn more about NCARB’s findings and methodologies? You can look at the organization’s full report here.