Graph depicting Demographic Breakdown of Republicans in the House of Representatives
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Description: The pie chart on the left presents the percentage of the Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are white, male, non-Hispanic and Christian. The pie chart on the right presents the percentage of the population of the United States that is white, male, non-Hispanic and Christian.

Sources: CRS   Pew   Census

Last updated: January 28, 2015

 

Proportion of Straight, White, Non-Hispanic, Christian Male Republicans in the House



Discussion: Racial minorities, women and non-Christians constitute only 11% of the Republican caucus in the House. As a point of comparison, racial minorities, women and non-Christians constitute 57% of the Democratic caucus in the House and 76% of the population of the country as a whole. So, both parties significantly over-represent straight, white, non-Hispanic, Christian males, but the Republican party radically over-represents them.

To be fair, it is important to note that many members of the House have been in office for decades, so given the difficulty in dislodging incumbents, historical racial biases probably go a long way to explaining the over-representation of the historically advantaged groups. However, that should actually cut the other way- the Democrats in the House on average have been there longer where many of the Republicans were first elected just in the past decade. The Republican Party does not seem to be significantly improving in this regard.

Lastly, it is important to note that this data is based only on the publicly announced religion and sexual orientations of the Representatives. There are presumably some Representatives who are in the closet or who present themselves as Christian when they are not. The public pressure to present those demographic identities is significant, especially in the Republican Party, so it is likely that at least a few Representatives prefer not to publicly identify as not belonging to those groups.


See more graphs about: Diversity