Texas Legislature Demographics: Most Lawmakers Are White and Male

History of Women in the Texas Legislature

At home there is

currently 114 men …

The number of women

from both parties

peaked at 37 in 2009

There was

20 republicans

women in 2003

… and 33 women.

27 Democrats

6 republicans

In the Senate there is

are currently 22 men …

… and 9 women.

3 democrats

6 republicans

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant.

Sources: The Center for American Women and Politics and the Legislative Reference Library

History of women in the

Texas Legislature

In the

Housing,

There are

currently

114 men …

The number of women

from both parties

peaked at 37 in 2009

There was

20 republicans

women in 2003

… and

33 women.

27 Democrats

6 republicans

In the Senate,

There are

currently

22 men …

… and

9 women.

3 democrats

6 republicans

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant.

Sources: The Center for American Women and Politics

and the legislative reference library

Even if the 168 women elected to the Texas House or Senate were alive today, they still would not be able to fill the 181 seats in the Legislative Assembly.

And although their total numbers are growing, women remain incredibly outnumbered in the Texas Legislature – only 42 House and Senate seats are currently held by women.

The shortage of female legislators is most notable among the Republican ranks. GOP lawmakers control 102 seats in the Legislative Assembly, but only 12 of those seats are held by women. Republican women fare much better in the Senate, where they hold almost a third of the seats held by the GOP. But their numbers have steadily declined in the House in recent years, dropping to six this year.

When members of the House were sworn in on Tuesday, there were more men named “John” than Republican women.

People of Color in the 86th Texas Legislature

People of color include black, Asian, and Hispanic people.

Democrats * in both chambers

Republicans in both chambers

* A Democrat refused to disclose his race or ethnicity.

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant.

Sources: Texas Tribune Legislative Assembly Survey, 2017 US Census Bureau ACS estimates

Colored people in the

86th Texas Legislature

People of color include people who are

black, asian and hispanic.

Democrats in Both Houses

Republicans in both chambers

* A Democrat refused to disclose his race or ethnicity. Note: Three seats in the House are vacant.

Sources: Texas Tribune Legislative Assembly Survey, 2017 US Census Bureau ACS estimates

Surprisingly, the Republican delegation to the Texas Senate this year will not be all white.

The GOP added to its modest legislative diversity with the election of Pete Flores, the first Republican Hispanic state senator. But the number of Republicans in the Legislature who are people of color actually fell from five in the last legislative session to four this time around.

Meanwhile, voters in Texas more than doubled the number of white Democrats in the legislature, ending a multi-year decline. These gains were largely made in the seats held by the GOP which came under Democratic control in November.

Overall, people of color – long in the majority in the state – remain significantly under-represented in the legislature.

Age Breakdown for the 86th Texas Legislature

Note: The categories above reflect the age categories used by the Census Bureau. The minimum age to serve in the

The legislature is 21. Three seats in the House are vacant. Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Sources: Texas Tribune Legislative Assembly Survey, 2017 US Census Bureau ACS estimates

Age distribution for the

86th Texas Legislature

Note: The categories above reflect the age categories used by the Census Bureau. The minimum age to sit in the Legislative Assembly is 21 years old. Three seats in the House are vacant. Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Sources: Texas Tribune Legislative Assembly Survey, 2017 US Census Bureau ACS estimates

Democratic freshman state representative James Talarico, 29, was sworn in as the youngest member of the legislature on Tuesday, but he’s largely an outlier.

Overall, members of the Legislature are more likely to be older. In the House, the median age is 50 while in the Senate it is 58. There is a 51-year difference between Talarico and Democratic State Representative Senfronia Thompson, the oldest woman in state history, who just turned 80.

Despite the elections of Talarico and other young state officials, the share of seats held by lawmakers aged 20 to 34 has actually declined compared to the last legislative session, while the share of seats held by the elderly increased.

Education for the 86th Texas Legislature

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant. One representative did not share his level of education.

Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Sources: Texas Tribune Legislative Assembly Survey, 2017 US Census Bureau ACS estimates

Education for

86th Texas Legislature

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant. One representative did not share his level of education.

Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Sources: Texas Tribune Survey of the Legislative Assembly,

2017 US Census Bureau ACS estimates

A quarter of Texans aged 25 or older have only a high school diploma, but a large majority of lawmakers have a college degree. In the Legislature – where about one in three legislators is a lawyer – most have graduate degrees.

Religion for the 86th Texas Legislature

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant.

Source: Texas Tribune Legislature Survey

Religion for the

86th Texas Legislature

Note: Three seats in the House are vacant.

Source: Texas Tribune Legislature Survey

The religious beliefs of state officials and senators often guide policy making on Capitol Hill, where most lawmakers practice some form of Christianity.

More legislators identified as Catholic than any other denomination. A lawmaker said he was agnostic. Another lawmaker said she had no religious affiliation.


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