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Which States Have the Most Proportional Female Representation in Congress?

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Women are still proportionally underrepresented in 48 states, with 19 states and 22 percent of the nation's population without a female U.S. Senator or Representative

Smart Politics recently observed that while the number of Republican women in the U.S. House has been on the decline in recent years (now at 17 members - the lowest level since 2000), that caucus' conservative ideological voting record is at an all time high.

However, although the total number of women in the U.S. House and Senate, whether Republicans or Democrats, is also at an all time high, the percentage of women serving in Congress is still far below their percentage in the population at large.

A Smart Politics analysis finds women are proportionally underrepresented in 48 states across the country, including 19 states that currently have no women serving in the U.S. Senate or U.S. House, tallying more than 22 percent of the nation's population.

These 19 states reflect a mixture of red, blue, and purple states, as well as states from across the Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern, and Western regions of the country: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

Women are proportionally 'overrepresented' in just one state - Maine. The Pine Tree State is represented by two Republican women in the U.S. Senate (Olympia Snowe (pictured) and Susan Collins) as well as Democrat Chellie Pingree in one of the state's two congressional districts, or 75 percent of its Capitol Hill delegation.

Women are represented equal to their population in one other state - New Hampshire - with Democratic women holding 50 percent of its posts in Congress: one of the two U.S. Senate seats (Jeanne Shaheen) and one of the two U.S. House seats (Carol Sea-Porter in the state's 1st CD).

More than half of the country, 27 states, has never been represented by a woman in the U.S. Senate: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Six states have never had a female serve in the U.S. House: Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Vermont.

Four states have never had a woman serve in either chamber: Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, and Vermont.

After Maine and New Hampshire, Nevada has the third largest percentage of its D.C. delegation represented by women, at 40 percent (2 representatives), with California the fourth largest (38.2 percent; 2 senators, 19 representatives).

Alaska, South Dakota, and Wyoming are tied for fifth at 33.3 percent - with each of these sparsely populated states served by one female in its three member D.C. delegation.

Minnesota (30.0 percent), Washington (27.3 percent), Hawaii (25.0 percent), and Ohio (25.0 percent) round out the Top 10.

Female Congressional Delegations by State

Rank
State
Senate
House
Total
%
1
Maine
2
1
3
75.0
2
New Hampshire
1
1
2
50.0
3
Nevada
0
2
2
40.0
4
California
2
19
21
38.2
5
Alaska
1
0
1
33.3
5
South Dakota
0
1
1
33.3
5
Wyoming
0
1
1
33.3
8
Minnesota
1
2
3
30.0
9
Washington
2
1
3
27.3
10
Hawaii
0
1
1
25.0
10
Ohio
0
5
5
25.0
12
New York
1
6
7
22.6
13
Colorado
0
2
2
22.2
13
Florida
0
6
6
22.2
15
Arizona
0
2
2
20.0
15
Maryland
1
1
2
20.0
15
North Carolina
1
2
3
20.0
15
West Virginia
0
1
1
20.0
15
Wisconsin
0
2
2
20.0
20
Illinois
0
4
4
19.0
21
Missouri
1
1
2
18.2
22
Michigan
1
2
3
17.6
23
Arkansas
1
0
1
16.7
23
Kansas
0
1
1
16.7
25
Connecticut
0
1
1
14.3
25
Oklahoma
0
1
1
14.3
27
Texas
1
3
4
11.8
28
Louisiana
1
0
1
11.1
29
Pennsylvania
0
2
2
9.5
30
Tennessee
0
1
1
9.1
31
Massachusetts
0
1
1
8.3
32
Alabama
0
0
0
0.0
32
Delaware
0
0
0
0.0
32
Georgia
0
0
0
0.0
32
Idaho
0
0
0
0.0
32
Indiana
0
0
0
0.0
32
Iowa
0
0
0
0.0
32
Kentucky
0
0
0
0.0
32
Mississippi
0
0
0
0.0
32
Montana
0
0
0
0.0
32
Nebraska
0
0
0
0.0
32
New Jersey
0
0
0
0.0
32
New Mexico
0
0
0
0.0
32
North Dakota
0
0
0
0.0
32
Oregon
0
0
0
0.0
32
Rhode Island
0
0
0
0.0
32
South Carolina
0
0
0
0.0
32
Utah
0
0
0
0.0
32
Vermont
0
0
0
0.0
32
Virginia
0
0
0
0.0
Data compiled by Smart Politics.

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1 Comment


  • Am I correct in assuming that if Carol Shea Porter and Anne Kuster both win their congressional races that New Hampshire will become the first state to ever have a 100% female congressional delegation?

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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