THEY PERSIST

Charted: Welcome to the most female Congress in US history

Get ready for the pink wave.
Get ready for the pink wave.
Image: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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The 116th US Congress will count an unprecedented number of women as members: 100 won elections this past November, raising the female representation to 102 in the House and 23 in the Senate.

Never before have this many women been US lawmakers, and this young and diverse group includes:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who at 29 is the youngest-ever House member
  • Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Somali refugee who landed in the US with her father 23 years ago— and today (Jan. 3) landed with him at the same airport, for her House swearing-in
  • Debra Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas, the first Native American women to be elected to the House.

Americans can check here to see how much the new Congress will resemble them. And here are more numbers on this historic class:

Since Jeannette Rankin was elected in Congress in 1916 (two years before US women won the right to vote), the growth of female representation has been slowly picking up—with a sizable increase since the late 1980s:

Still, less than 24% of Congress is female:

Through the years, Democrats have held a large margin over Republicans in female representation: