Most Diverse Congress Ever is Almost Entirely White, Male, Christian

As the new members of Congress prepare to be sworn in, the Washington Post has a look at the demographics of both legislative bodies. Good news: It’s the most diverse Congress in American history. Bad news: It’s still really, really white, male and Christian.

The 114th Congress, which gets to “work” on Tuesday, is one of the most diverse in American history, comprised of nearly 20 percent women and just over 17 percent of which is non-white. Which means, of course, that four out of five members of Congress are white and four out of five are men…

The Pew Research Center looked at another demographic data point this week: religion. Over the last few decades, Congress has gotten less Protestant, but it’s still overwhelmingly Christian.

And after the 2014 election, Congress actually gets slightly more Christian, with nine more Christians, five fewer Jewish members, one fewer Buddhist and one fewer unaffiliated member…

Congress is nearly as unrepresentative on race and gender. More than half of the population is female; white non-Hispanics are about 63 percent of the population. Congress is starting to look more like the rest of the country, in other words — but the 114th Congress won’t look much like it at all.

Anyone surprised?

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, it’s not the Republican’s fault that Minorities won’t vote for them. The GOP is too busy being laser focused on the economy, while the Democrat party lazily spends its days panders to the broads, eye-leegals and whatever-the-coloreds-are-calling-themselves-this-week, that’s all.

    It’ll get better in 2016, when the GOP digs out its utero-centric playblook to smear Hillary Clinton, and the chicks turn out in droves for Jeb. Lesbos, too, on account of their love of Bush.

  • eric

    four out of five members of Congress are white and four out of five are men

    More depressingly, I’m willing to bet that five out five members of Congress took large campaign donations from special interest groups.

  • scienceavenger

    I heard that the new GOP portion of congress is whiter and maler than it was before, despite the election of Mia Love. Anyone more google savvy than me able to confirm?

  • caseloweraz

    From the Washington Post: “When a clerk called the roll, 24 Republicans voted for a candidate other than the incumbent speaker, John A. Boehner (Ohio). The plotters couldn’t agree on their own candidate: They voted for one another, and for two sitting senators.”

    What? Someone tried to choose a Senator as Speaker of the House? Two someones, in fact?

    Apparently so. The Post identifies them here. Rep. Curt Clawson of Florida voted for Sen. Rand Paul, and Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama voted for Sen. Jeff Sessions.

    The mind boggles.

  • caseloweraz

    The Post reported Boehner’s “epically mixed” metaphor: “So let’s stand tall and prove the skeptics wrong,” Boehner said. “May the fruits of our labors be ladders our children can use to climb to the stars.”

    Too bad he forgot to add, “and the wings that light their way.” That would have made it truly epic. And a reference to wings is always good — as in “where wings take dream.”

    Now excuse me while I take a thinly veiled swipe at the sacred cows entrenched in naval circles.

  • eric

    @4: please at least tell me that Clawson and Palmer are freshmen. The only thing that could be worse than a house member voting for a senator for speaker would be an incumbent house member doing so.

  • eric

    @4: according to the link, one Dem voted for Colin Powell, who is neither (senator or house member).

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    It’s good that we’re finally giving white male Christians a say, but they’re still underrepresented in proportion to how important they think they are.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    Another reason for half the congress/senate to be drafted.

    Plus, they would probably be more competent.

  • ppb

    As I understand it, the Speaker of the House does not technically need to be a House member. The Constitution only specifies that the House members must select someone. It has historically always been a House member, but legally it is not a requirement.

  • abb3w

    @10, ppb

    As I understand it, the Speaker of the House does not technically need to be a House member. The Constitution only specifies that the House members must select someone. It has historically always been a House member, but legally it is not a requirement.

    The Constitution requires the House of Representatives choose their Speaker and other officers, but put no restrictions on who can hold such office. In theory, the majority could elect the panda Bao Bao from the National Zoo as speaker, and the Supreme Court would probably just respond “Y’all may well have lost your minds, but it’s still a non-justiciable matter.” (Well, in that exact case there’s a slim chance that they might note that Bao Bao is not a US Citizen, is not over 25, and/or that Bao Bao is incapable of taking oath to uphold the US Constitution. However, none of those would be a problem for a US Senator or General Colin Powell.)

  • dingojack

    caseloweraz – typical, nothing but liberal navel-gazing!!

    😉 Dingo