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Species / Race / Gender / Ethnicity Breakdown
Among Star Trek Cast Members


The lists and tables on this page are based on a total list of 42 principal Star Trek cast members. Important supporting cast members such as Garak, Gul Dukat, Nurse Chapel, etc. have not been included in this analysis.

I analyzed the ethnic, gender, and species makeup of Star Trek cast members just out of interest. This isn't an attempt to make any kind of statement. I find it interesting, but I don't care either way. I don't think there needs to be "more" of any group or "less" of any group. If the characters and stories are interesting and the shows are well made, that's what is important.

If the Enterprise had a Korean captain, a Korean first officer, a Korean science officer, a Korean chief medical officer, a Korean helmsman, and a Korean-Vulcan communications officer, I would still watch it if the characters and stories were interesting. Even if all of these characters were all men. Even if they're all Jewish men. In fact, they could all be Jewish rabbis. It could still be fascinating. Maybe they all have slighly different positions on the Torah, and their viewpoints color how they interpret the Prime Directive. (No, I'm not a Korean Jew.)

For the record:
40% of principal characters have been non-human, or partially non-human
33% have been women
28% have been played by non-white actors

One interesting observation about the show is that, in five different series, there have really only been two regular characters who were simply white human females: Dr. Crusher and Captain Janeway. (In contrast, there have been 13 white human male regular cast members.) Natasha Yar and Dr. Pulaski were also human white females, but they were only on a series for one season each. T'Pol, Troi, Kira, Kes, Jadzia Dax, Ezri Dax, and Seven of Nine were all played by white actresses, but were alien characters. (Althogh Troi was half-human, and Seven was biologically human but culturally Borg.) The other fully human female characters are Uhura and Hoshi Sato, black and Asian. Star Trek women have been more likely to be alien than Star Trek men.

It is difficult to mask a person's race or gender, even when they are playing a character. Yes, there is a lot of racial diversity among Star Trek cast members. But in the 24th century (or even the 21st for most of us), who cares? There are other significant "areas of diversity" which Star Trek has studiously avoided, perhaps in order to avoid controversy, because they didn't work well within the dramatic framework of the show, or perhaps because they didn't fit well into Roddenberry's vision of the future.

For instance, very few career paths or employers are represented by the principal cast members. Nearly all of the main characters are Starfleet officers. Quark is the only main character who is clearly a civilian. Kira, Odo, Seven of Nine, Kes, Neelix and T'Pol may not be Starfleet officers, but they clearly work within the Starfleet command structure.

There is little diversity among the main characters' family structure: Chief O'Brien and Tuvok are the only main characters who were married throughout the series in which they starred. Sisko did get married at the end of his series. Worf married Jadzia Dax (who died soon). Tom Paris and Torres also got married toward the end of their series. A few of the other characters (most notably Dr. Crusher) are widows/widowers or divorced.

The major area of diversity avoided by the Star Trek is religious diversity and other voluntary membership subcultures. There are no principal cast members who are readily identifiable as Jews, Catholics, Muslims, GLBT, Libertarians, Goth, etc. Related issues were usually dealt with on the show through fictional "proxy" cultures. For instance, "Deep Space Nine" frequently explored religious themes, but usually did so through the Bajor or Klingon cultures. Roddenberry's vision of a future without such divisions was not uncommon for science fiction writers of his day. Nevertheless, it is true that many major groups of people on Earth today are not represented among Star Trek characters.

There's nothing wrong with that. There are nearly 200 independent nations in the world (meaning 200 potential nationalities), and there are thousands of different ethnicities, religions, and native languages. No single work of fiction can possibly include representatives from all of them. The target audience of the franchise is universal, and people of all backgrounds have appreciated its interesting and universal themes.

Name Position Series Gender Species of
Character
Race of Actor Nationality of
Character
CAPTAIN
James T. Kirk Captain TOS M Human White American
Jean-Luc Picard Captain TNG M Human White French
Benjamin Sisko Captain DS9 M Human Black American
Kathryn Janeway Captain Voy F Human White American
Jonathan Archer Captain Ent M Human White American
1ST OFFICER
Spock 1st Officer TOS M Vulcan/Human White
William Riker 1st Officer TNG M Human White American
Kira Nerys 1st Officer DS9 F Bajoran White Bajoran
Chakotay 1st Officer Voy M Human Hispanic
(character is Native American)
T'Pol 1st Officer Ent F Vulcan White
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICERS
Leonard McCoy Chief Medical Officer TOS M Human White American
Beverly Crusher Chief Medical Officer TNG F Human White Scottish
Katherine Pulaski Chief Medical Officer TNG F Human White American
Julian Bashir Chief Medical Officer DS9 M Human Born in Sudan, Africa of an English mother and a Sudanese father
The Doctor (EMH) Chief Medical Officer Voy M Hologram White Starfleet
Phlox Chief Medical Officer Ent M Denobulan White
CHIEF ENGINEER
Montgomery "Scotty" Scott Chief Engineer TOS M Human White Scottish
Geordi La Forge Chief Engineer TNG M Human Black African Confederation
Miles O'Brien Chief Engineer TNG/DS9 M Human White Irish
B'Elanna Torres Chief Engineer Voy F Human/Klingon mixed
Black/White
(Her character's human father is Hispanic)
Charlie Tucker Chief Engineer Ent M Human White American (Southern)
CHIEF SECURITY/TACTICAL OFFICERS
Natasha Yar Chief of security/tactical officer TNG F Human White Ukrainian/Turkana IV
Worf Chief of security/tactical officer TNG/DS9 M Klingon Black Klingon
Odo Chief of security DS9 M Changeling White Bajor
Tuvok Chief of security/tactical officer Voy M Vulcan Black
Malcolm Reed Armory Officer Ent M Human White British
OPERATIONS/COMMUNICATIONS OFFICERS
Uhura Operations/Communications TOS F Human Black Swahili
Data Operations/Communications TNG M Android White
Harry Kim Operations/Communications Voy M Human Asian American
Hoshi Sato Communications/Translator Ent F Human Asian
(Korean)
HELM/NAVIGATION/FLIGHT CONTROL OFFICERS
Hikaru Sulu Helm/Navigation TOS M Human Asian American
Pavel Chekov Helm/Navigation TOS M Human White Russian
Wesley Crusher Helm/Navigation TNG M Human White Scottish/American
Thomas Paris Helm/Navigation Voy M Human White American
Travis Mayweather Helm/Navigation Ent M Human Black American ("Boomer")
SCIENCE OFFICERS/COUNSELORS/MISC.
Deanna Troi Counselor TNG F Betazoid White
Jadzia Dax Science Officer DS9 F Trill White
Quark Bartender DS9 M Ferengi White
Ezri Dax Counselor DS9 F Trill White
Neelix Chef/Chief Morale Officer Voy M Talaxian White
Kes Misc. Voy F Ocampa White
Seven of Nine Misc. Voy F Human/Borg White

Non-Human Characters

First of all, let's point out the obvious: There are only non-human characters on Star Trek. All the actors have been human.

Out of 42 principal cast members, 17 (or 40%) have been non-human or partially non-human. This includes two entirely artificial lifeforms: Data (an android) and the Doctor (a hologram). It also includes 3 human/alien hybrids: Spock (half Vulcan), Torres (half Klingon), and Troi (half Betazoid). These list of 17 "non-human" crew members also includes Seven of Nine, who is, biologically, fully human, but became, through technological modification, Borg, and lived most of her life within the Borg collective.

There are actually only eleven (26%) fully alien, non-artificial principal cast members: Worf, Kira, Odo, Quark, Jadzia Dax, Ezri Dax, Kes, Neelix, Tuvok, T'Pol and Phlox.

The most common alien race among principal cast members is Vulcan. There are two full-blooded Vulcans (T'Pol and Tuvok), as well as Spock, a half-Vulcan who fully embraced his Vulcan side with regards to culture and philosophy.

There are two Trill cast members, although, in a peculiarly Trill way, Jadzia and Ezri Dax are partially the same character.

There are two Klingon cast members. Worf, who was a principal cast member on Star Trek for more seasons than any other character, is full-blooded Klingon and fully embraces his Klingon culture, although he was actually raised by humans. Torres is half-human/half-Klingon, and mostly favored her human side culturally, although she grew to appreciate her Klingon side.

Data and the Doctor might be considered "two artificial life forms," although the android and the doctor are not the same form of technology.

Name Species of
Character
Position
Data Android Operations/Communications
Kira Nerys Bajoran 1st Officer
Deanna Troi Betazoid/Human Counselor
Seven of Nine Borg/Human Misc.
Odo Changeling Chief of security
Phlox exotic alien Chief Medical Officer
Quark Ferengi Bartender
The Doctor (EMH) Hologram Chief Medical Officer
Worf Klingon Chief of security/tactical officer
B'Elanna Torres Klingon/Human Chief Engineer
Kes Ocampa Misc.
Neelix Talaxian Chef/Chief Morale Officer
Jadzia Dax Trill Science Officer
Ezri Dax Trill Counselor
T'Pol Vulcan 1st Officer
Tuvok Vulcan Chief of security/tactical officer
Spock Vulcan/Human 1st Officer


Female Characters

Fourteen out of the 42 principal cast members have been women. This is exactly one third, or 33%.

Women have served in most major postions: captain, 1st officer, science officer, tactical, chief medical officer, chief engineer and pperations/communications. The only "major" Star Trek position women have never held is helm / navigation / pilot, which is typically a low-ranking, less important position.

Two women have served as first officers: Kira and T'Pol. Two women have served as communications officer: Uhura and Hoshi Sato. Two women have served as chief medical officer: Crusher and Pulaski, although they were on the same show and were replacements for each other.

Name Position
Kira Nerys 1st Officer
T'Pol 1st Officer
Kathryn Janeway Captain
B'Elanna Torres Chief Engineer
Beverly Crusher Chief Medical Officer
Katherine Pulaski Chief Medical Officer
Natasha Yar Chief of security/tactical officer
Hoshi Sato Communications/Translator
Deanna Troi Counselor
Ezri Dax Counselor
Kes Misc.
Seven of Nine Misc.
Uhura Operations/Communications
Jadzia Dax Science Officer


Non-White Actors

Most of the actors who have portrayed principal characters have been white. In some cases, the actor's race did not relate to the character's race. For instance, Tuvok played a dark-skinned Vulcan. But it was not correct to call Tuvok an "African-American Vulcan," because, although the actor was African-American, the character was not. There is no Africa or America on the planet Vulcan. Also, although Torres had a Hisanic last name, her Hispanic ethnicity was never addressed on "Star Trek: Voyager", because the conflict between her human and Klingon backgrounds was much more important. Worf was also played by an African-American, but his character was simply a Klingon, and was not a "black Klingon."

Of the 42 principal cast members, eleven (26%) can be classified as racial minorities.

There are six characters played by black actors: Sisko, Geordi La Forge, Travis Mayweather, Tuvok, Uhura, and Worf. (Should these actors be called African-Americans? Levar Burton, who played Geordi, was born in Germany. Uhura's character was African, not American.)

There are three Asian characters portrayed by Asian actors: Sulu, Harry Kim, and Hoshi Sato. Keiko O'Brien (Japanese) was also an important supporting character on "Deep Space: Nine", and there was a Japanese on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Torres is a Hispanic name, but Roxann Biggs-Dawson who played her is biracial (with one African-American parent and one white parent). Chakotay's character is very much a Native American (from South or Latin America) who devoutly subscribes to many of his culture's traditional religious beliefs and practices. The actor himself is of Mexican descent. So he does have Native American ancestry, although he is mestizo, and describes himself as Hispanic or Mexican.

Name Position Race of Actor
Harry Kim Operations/Communications Asian
Hikaru Sulu Helm/Navigation Asian
Hoshi Sato Communications/Translator Asian
Benjamin Sisko Captain Black
Geordi La Forge Chief Engineer Black
Travis Mayweather Helm/Navigation Black
Tuvok Chief of security/tactical officer Black
Uhura Operations/Communications Black
Worf Chief of security/tactical officer Black
B'Elanna Torres Chief Engineer Black/White
Chakotay 1st Officer Hispanic
Julian Bashir Chief Medical Officer Arab (Sudanese)/English

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Web page created 30 August 2001. Last modified 23 January 2002.

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