The 114th Congress being sworn in on Tuesday is being hailed as the most diverse Congress in history with more women and minorities than ever before. But that’s not thanks to the new Republican majorities in the House and the Senate.
Although the new Congress is 80 percent white, an equal amount male, and 92 percent Christian, the majority of non-white and women lawmakers are Democrats. In other words, even though these paltry numbers make up the “most diverse” Congress in existence, it’s thanks largely to Democrats that it’s this way.
“The overall numbers (for gender & race) will certainly be skewed a bit more white & male due to the GOP having its highest number of US Reps in 80+ years plus having a majority in the Senate,” the University of Minnesota’s Eric Ostermeier told TPM in an email.
By House Democratic leadership’s count, there are 78 white men who are Democrats, out of 188 Democratic members in the chamber. This means that white men do not make up a majority of the House Democratic caucus.
There are a total of 81 minorities that are Democrats in both houses combined and 16 that are Republicans, according to data from CQ. The 114th Congress also has 79 Democratic women and 29 Republican women, also according to CQ.
Of the 188 Democrats in the newly sworn-in House of Representatives, 78 are minorities, according to CQ. Despite the rise of new stars like Rep. Mia Love (UT, pictured above) just 12 of the 246 Republicans in the House majority are minorities. In the Senate, percentages are slightly better for Republicans. There are four Republican senators who are racial minorities and 3 Democrats who are racial minorities.
By gender, there are 65 House Democrats who are women and 23 women are on the other side of the aisle, according to CQ. That leaves 123 Democratic men and 223 Republican men. In the Senate, there are 14 Democratic women and a record six Republican women leaving 30 Democratic men plus another two Independents who caucus with Democrats and 48 Republican men.
Among specific minorities, there is one Asian Senate Democrat and 10 Asian House Democrats. There are no Asian Republican lawmakers in the House or Senate in the 114th Congress.
There is one African American Democrat, Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), and one African American Republican, Sen. Tim Scott (SC), in the Senate and 44 African American Democrats in the House and two African American Republicans.
Republicans actually have more Hispanics in the Senate: there’s one Democrat, New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, and two Republicans, Florida’s Marco Rubio and Texas’ Ted Cruz. In the House there are 23 Hispanic Democrats and 7 Hispanic Republicans.
There are also two members who identify as Native Americans in the House, both Republican. There are none in the Senate.
Chart: Christine Frapech.