115th Congress is the Most Diverse Yet



The US congress is currently the most diverse that it has ever been, with one-in-five members being from a racial or ethnic minority. 19% of congress is now non-white, compared to just 1% when the 79th congress took office in 1945; evidently, progress has been made.

Some notable new additions to the 155th congress include: Val Demings, the first woman and African American to represent her district of Orlando, Florida; Stephanie Murphy, the first Vietnamese American woman elected; Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian American woman; and Adriano Espaillat, the first Dominican American to enter the House.

However, the diversity in Capitol Hill is still not representative of the nation, where 38% of the population is non-white. That means that there should be double the number of minority individuals in congress than is the case.

Women, moreover, account for 51% of the US population, yet only make up approximately 19% of congress. Native Americans are also poorly represented, with only two sitting in congress.

The trend, though, is promising, with 34% of congress’s new members (20 out of 59) coming from a minority background, compared with 15% in the previous congress. Hopefully, we will see this figure increase steadily over the coming years so that congress can begin to accurately reflect the country’s racial and ethnic makeup.


Talia Robinson