DemDaily: Composition of the New Congress

January 30, 2022

The 118th Congress is setting records for diversity, with 25% of voting members identifying with a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic White.

According to the Pew Research Center, 133 of 534 Senators and House members identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority (80%) of racial and ethnic minority members in the new Congress are Democrats, while 20% are Republicans.

Some racial and ethnic representation in the House is now on par with its share of the total US population, while others continue to lag behind. 13% of House members are Black, almost equal to the total share of Black Americans. Hispanic representation is just 10%, compared with 19% of the population. Asian or Pacific Islanders account for 3% of members, compared to 6% of the population, and Native American and Alaska Native representation is in line with its 1% of the overall population.

Total: 149 (106D/1Ind/42R)
Senate: 25 (15D/1Ind/9R)
House: 124 (91D/33R)

While progress has been made, Congress' lack of gender parity is still far from representative. Women make up about half of the workforce in the US and more than half of the US population, but they comprise only 28% of Congress.

Although women’s overall share of seats grew by just two, the 118th Congress boasts a record number of women of color at fifty-eight.

Senate women include 15 Democrats, one Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and nine Republicans, accounting for 25% of members.

In four states - Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and Washington - both senators are women and all are Democrats.

124 women serve in the US House, holding 28.5% of the seats. Those include 91 Democrats and 33 Republicans.

African American
Total: 60 (55D/5R)
Senate: 3 (2D/1R)
House: 57 (52D/5R)

The 118th welcomes 11 new freshman Black members, including Democrats Summer Lee (PA), Emilia Sykes (OH), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA), Jonathan Jackson (IL), Glenn Ivey (MD), Don Davis (NC), Valerie Foushee (NC), Jasmine Crockett (TX), and Maxwell Frost (FL).

The addition of two more GOP members makes the 118th Congress the first to host five Black Republicans (four in the House and one in the Senate) since the Reconstruction era.

There are an additional six non-voting members from Washington, DC and the US Territories, including four Democrats and two Republicans. Of those, two are Black, two are Hispanic, and two are Asian/Pacific Islander.

Total: 54 (38D/16R)
Senate: 6 (4D/2R)
House: 48 (34D/14R)

In 2022, Senator Alex Padilla became the sixth Hispanic member of the current US Senate, and the first elected from California.

14 new Hispanic members were elected to the freshman class of 2022, including nine Democrats: Yadira Caraveo (CO), Greg Casar (TX), Maxwell Frost (FL), Robert Garcia (CA), Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (WA), Rob Menendez (NJ), Delia Ramirez (Il), Andrea Salinas (OR), and Gabe Vasquez (NM).

Total: 18 (16D/2R)
Senate: 2 (2D/0R)
House: 16 (14D/2R)

Senate: The Senate has two Asian American women, Tammy Duckworth (D) of Illinois and Mazie Hirono (D) of Hawaii.

Just two new AAPI members joined the House in 2022: Jill Tokuda (D-HI) and Shri Thanedar (D-MI). They join 14 Democratic and 2 Republican AAPI members in the House.

Native American and Indigenous
Total: 5 (2D/3R)
Senate: 1 (0D/1R)
House: 4 (2D/2R)

Newly elected Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) is the first native American US Senator in two decades.

Democrat Mary Peltola, a Yup'ik, was reelected to Alaska's at-large congressional seat in 2022. She is one of two indigenous women in Congress, along with Native American Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-KS). The only other two indigenous House members are Tom Cole (R-OK) and Josh Brecheen (R-OK).

There are 13 open LGBTQ members in Congress, the most in history. In the Senate, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) of Wisconsin became the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in the chamber when she was elected in 2012, and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is the first openly bisexual person to serve in either chamber. All House members are Democrats, with the exception of Republican freshman George Santos (NY).

The 118th Congress is one of the oldest Congresses on record. The average age in the Senate is 64 years, while House members are an average age of 58. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who will turn ninety in June, is the oldest senator, and Jon Ossoff (D-GA), 35, the youngest.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA), at 86, is the most senior by age in the House, and Congress welcomed its first Gen Z member in January, Maxwell Frost (D-FL), 25, as its youngest.

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: US House, US Senate, Pew, Council on Foreign Relations, MSNBC, Congressional Research Service, The Hill




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