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

Most Diverse Congress Ever is Almost Entirely White, Male, Christian January 7, 2015

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?


Browse Our Archives