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Who Is The 115th Congress?
01/02/2017 Retirement Raymond Z
keywords: Congress Diversity

They say the more things change, the more they remain the same. It would seem that expression can be used to describe the demographic make-up of the 115th Congress. Who are these people, what are their backgrounds and what do they believe in religiously? Let's take a closer look.

It may surprise some to learn that this is the most racially diverse legislative group in our history. It may not surprise you to learn that most of that diversity is on the Democratic side. Because Republicans control both houses of congress, this means when it comes to governing, the minority is still primarily the minority.

When looking at the numbers, it helps to remember that Congress consists of 100 Senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives, a total of 535 people, representing all of America.

Women

The role of women increases slightly in the Senate while women hold less seats in the House. In all, there are 104 women in the 115th Congress. Now consider, females make up slightly more than 50% of the U.S. Population. They make up 19% of Congress.

Racial Minorities

The new Congress will have more African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians than ever, totaling 102 members. Black members increase from 46 to 49, Hispanics hold a record 38 seats, and Asians increase their impact from 11 to 15 members.

Religious Affiliations

While the vast majority of Congress members identify as Christian, there are 30 members who say they are Jewish, 4 Hindu members, 3 Buddhists and 2 Muslims. These are all slight increases from the 114th Congress. While Jews make up about 2.2 percent of the U.S. Population, they hold 8% of the seats in the Senate and 5% of the seats in the House. They are one of the few minorities who hold a larger presence in Congress than displayed throughout the general population.

Wealth

Those whose represent you are likely in a much better financial situation than you enjoy. While figures for the new Congress are still being compiled, in the last Congress, over half the members had net worths of over 41 million dollars. Some approach a half-billion dollars. Even in 2014, Time Magazine referred to Congress as "Mostly a Millionaire's Club." That becomes more evident with each new Congress.

Still A Similar Climate

When it is all said and done, the latest edition of the Congress is still very much still a traditional climate of old, rich, conservative, Christian white guys. Yes, the more things change, the more they seem to remain the same.

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