IVN News

Congress is Not Representative of America’s Diversity

While recent polls shows that 40 percent of Americans consider themselves neither republican nor democrat, 99.6 percent of Congresspeople do.
Lucas Eaves
The members of Congress are elected in order to represent their constituents in Washington DC. But does Congress really reflect the diversity of the United States?

With only two independents elected in the Senate and none in the House, it is apparent that the Congress is not representative of the diverse political beliefs throughout the country. While recent polls shows that 40 percent of Americans consider themselves neither republican nor democrat, 99.6 percent of Congresspeople do.

Even though Congress is not in line with Americans’ political leanings, how is it doing in terms of representation of other criteria such as gender or income?

The greater disparity remains gender wise:  White males are overrepresented in the Congress, making up 75 percent of the House, 79 percent of the Senate but only 37 percent of all Americans.  And women, who make up 50.8 percent of the population only represent 17 percent of the Congress.

In terms of income, the gap between the average American and his/her representative is also very important. While the median income in America is around $50,000, nearly half of those in Congress are worth more than 1 million.

The following infographic, provided by TakePart.com , highlights how on other criteria such as religion, race, age or education, the US Congress is in fact not representative of America’s diversity.

What do you think explains this lack of representation and how can we improve it in the future? 

Congress is not representative
Credit: TakePart.com