Demography of the House

Timothy Egan’s column today pulls together the statistics to make a pretty stark statement about the Republican House:

As a whole, Congress has never been more diverse, except the House majority. There are 41 black members of the House, but all of them are Democrats. There are 10 Asian-Americans, but all of them are Democrats. There are 34 Latinos, a record — and all but 7 are Democrats. There are 7 openly gay, lesbian or bisexual members, all of them Democrats.

Only 63 percent of the United States population is white. But in the House Republican majority, it’s 96 percent white. Women are 51 percent of the nation, but among the ruling members of the House, they make up just 8 percent. (It’s 30 percent on the Democratic side.)

It’s a stretch, by any means, to call the current House an example of representative democracy.

He goes on to make a pretty good case that this is related to how extreme the House Republicans govern.  True, but certainly subjective.  There’s nothing subjective at all, though, about how profoundly un-representative of America they are.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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