Today, January 3rd, the 116th Congress will be sworn into office and serve their constituents for the next 2 years (until 2020’s election cycle).  This year’s Congress, more specifically the House of Representatives will be historic in that it will be the most diverse in America’s history. 

According to Business Insider, this diversity includes a record number of women and people of color representing both urban and suburban areas of the nation.  Interestingly enough, as America moves left, Congress becomes more diverse.  I’ve said in the past how much Republicans need to reach out to diverse communities in a better way, and today has all but proved my point.

In discussing diversity by the numbers, a few key points must be made:

  • Before the election 84 women made up the House.  After the election the House will boast 103 women, increasing female representation by 22%
  • Non-Hispanic Whites saw their numbers fall from 75% to 72% of the House of Representatives.  This is still a huge majority not reflective of the current national demographic breakdown
  • All minority groups saw an increase in representation within the House from African Americans (17%), Hispanic/Latin American (4.7%), Asian/Pacific Islander (7.1%), and Native American (100%)
  • The current numbers for the House based on race are Non-Hispanic Whites (317), African Americans (55), Hispanic/Latin Americans (44), Asian/Pacific Islanders (15), and Native Americans (4)
  • Congress is also slowly getting younger with Baby Boomers falling from 62% to 53% of the House.  The second highest is Generation X which grew from 27% to 31%.  Millennials currently make up less than 6% of the House of Representatives
  • Openly gay members of the House rose from 6 to 8 making up just under 2%.