DemDaily: Diversity in Congress: The Breakdown

August 9, 2017

In following on yesterday's Voting Rights Act Daily, we took a look at how Diversity in the US Congress has changed since the landmark legislation was signed into law in 1965.

89th Congress (1965)
In 1965 the House claimed 11 Women (7D/4R), 5 African American (Ds), three Hispanic/Latino (Ds) and two Asian Americans (Ds).  In the Senate there were two Women (1D/1R), one Hispanic/Latino (D) and two Asian Americans (1D/1R).

Today's 115th Congress
In the US House of Representatives there are 242 Republicans,198 Democrats - and one vacant seat, Utah's 3rd Congressional District (*All figures include 5 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico).

The US Senate has 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Gender
Women, who account for approximately 50% of the US population, make up 20.1% of the 115th US Congress. A record 109 women including 88 in the House (65D/23R) and 21 in the US Senate (16D/5R).

Minority
There is a total of 52 African American (9.6%), 45 Hispanic/Latino (8.3%), 18 Asian
(3.3%) and two American Indians (Native Americans) in the House and Senate.

Kamala Harris (D-CA) is of Asian (Indian/Tamil) and African American (Jamaican) descent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Breakdown

US SENATE

Minority US Senate
African American 3 (2D/1R)
Hispanic or Latino 5 (2D/3R)
Asian/South Asian/Pacific Islander 3 D
American Indian (Native Americans) 0
US HOUSE
Minority US House
African American 49 (47D/2R)
Hispanic or Latino 40 (29D/11R)
Asian/South Asian/Pacific Islander 15 (14D/1R)
American Indian (Native Americans) 2 R

 

Congressman Bobby Scott (D - VA3) is of Asian (Filipino) and African American descent

 

In total, Democrats have more than five times as many minority Members in Congress, but we still have a long way to go before Congress reflects the actual voting population of its consitutencies.

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Congressional Research Service, EveryCRSReport,com, Ballotpedia, Wikipedia, Politifact, Brookings, The Hill

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