After Republicans swept the midterm elections Tuesday, gaining eight new Senate seats and taking the majority of both houses, it’s fair to ask whether this shake-up did anything to disrupt the notoriously white, straight, older male demographic in Congress. The answer, unsurprisingly, is no.
A helpful and well-designed infographic over at the Guardian lets readers input their own profile, including gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity and education level, to see how many Congressional representatives exist in those categories. Underneath the map are more interactive graphics which show the percentage of Americans who fit into a given demographic compared to the percentage of Congress men and women. In this arena, young people fare the worst: 60.5% of Americans are under 44, while only 14.3% of people in Congress are.
The results are pretty depressing if not shocking. If you are a straight, white woman with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 44, there are only three people in Congress like you. If you’re a black man with the same stats, you fare a little better, with five people like you in Congress. One of the biggest categories in Congress is straight white men between 45 and 64 with a bachelor’s degree (184 people). However, by changing just one of these variables, the numbers become dismal pretty quickly: from straight to LGB (three people), white to black (six people) or even just male to female (35 people). If “change” was really on people’s mind this election, they should be severely disappointed.