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The new Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male and 92 percent Christian

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 5:47 PM
  • 25 Replies

 

The new Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male and 92 percent Christian

Trying to predict the gender and race of a member of Congress is like trying to predict who would win a basketball game between the 1996 Chicago Bulls and the 2015 New York Knicks. Which is to say: It is like trying to predict who would win in an arithmetic competition between you and a talking horse. Which is to say: It is like trying to guess how many jellybeans are in a glass jar that contains two jellybeans. Which is to say: It is easy.

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. Ergo, given the name of a member of Congress (at random: Oregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden), you can probably guess his or her gender and race. (In case you want to see if you were right about Walden: here.)

According to a break-down from our colleague Reid Wilson, here are the demographics of the incoming crew.

 

In September, we looked at the slow trend away from white men in Congress, anticipating likely winners in November. Here is the overall trend on gender and race, with the new Congress in place. (We excluded New York's 11th District, vacated by GOP Rep. Michael Grimm.)

 

 

The trend is slow, but it's clear: Congress is getting a bit less white and a bit less male.

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.

 

That's not a surprise, given that the country itself is overwhelmingly Christian. The group that Pew finds most underrepresented on the Hill is those without a religious affiliation -- comprising 20 percent of the public and 0.2 percent of Congress.

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.

by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 5:47 PM
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Replies (1-10):
QueenBarbie
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 5:52 PM
3 moms liked this

and 100% voted in by American voters.

ArtIsAwesome
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 5:53 PM
I was Going to read this, but since a "talking horse" probably Could beat me at arithmetic, I chose not to.
sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 5:53 PM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting QueenBarbie:

and 100% voted in by American voters.

 Voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest since WWII

Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/10/voter-turnout-in-2014-was-the-lowest-since-wwii/

ArtIsAwesome
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 5:57 PM
2 moms liked this
Yeah, and??? So other people need to work harder if that's where they want to be. I don't quite understand the Point of this post. That's like me writing an entire post listing the most common color of shoelaces.
QueenBarbie
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 6:00 PM
2 moms liked this

I voted, did you vote?  I voted for white men, because there were no good female candidates in my area, except for in local races. 

No one stopped anyone from voting.


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 

Quoting QueenBarbie:

and 100% voted in by American voters.

 Voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest since WWII

Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/10/voter-turnout-in-2014-was-the-lowest-since-wwii/


stringtheory
by Platinum Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 6:04 PM
1 mom liked this
Since the options are probably not much different from the resulting congress, it is perfectly reasonable to discuss why people think that our elected officials don't typically (ever) reflect the general population demographics. Is that really a worthless topic to you?

Quoting ArtIsAwesome: Yeah, and??? So other people need to work harder if that's where they want to be. I don't quite understand the Point of this post. That's like me writing an entire post listing the most common color of shoelaces.
stringtheory
by Platinum Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 6:06 PM
I'm betting if a compilation of demographics of people running was presented, the results would be similar - you don't think it is worthy of discussion?

Quoting QueenBarbie:

I voted, did you vote?  I voted for white men, because there were no good female candidates in my area, except for in local races. 

No one stopped anyone from voting.

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 


Quoting QueenBarbie:

and 100% voted in by American voters.


 Voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest since WWII


Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/10/voter-turnout-in-2014-was-the-lowest-since-wwii/

PPCLC
by Lisa on Jan. 6, 2015 at 6:07 PM

So Obama's last few years in office will be like Mister Toad's Wild Ride then, yes?

His tell-all book after these 8 years is going to be a dilly. lol ;)

QueenBarbie
by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 6:09 PM

The bar is not set very high to run.

Anyone just about can run for office.  

This post is just about sour grapes.

Quoting stringtheory: I'm betting if a compilation of demographics of people running was presented, the results would be similar - you don't think it is worthy of discussion?
Quoting QueenBarbie:

I voted, did you vote?  I voted for white men, because there were no good female candidates in my area, except for in local races. 

No one stopped anyone from voting.


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 

Quoting QueenBarbie:

and 100% voted in by American voters.

 Voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest since WWII

Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/10/voter-turnout-in-2014-was-the-lowest-since-wwii/


stringtheory
by Platinum Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 6:10 PM
1 mom liked this
Amazing how the mob mentality is only worthy of discussion if it involves protesting police, but not if it involves demographics of government as likely influenced by years of white, male, Christian dominance.
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