The 116th Congress is setting new records for diversity

January 3 marked the beginning of the 116th United States Congress with the swearing-in ceremony.  In the past year, Congress members’ average age dropped by ten years and now has a record number of minorities.  Women are also breaking records in the government this year, with the first Muslim and Native American women sworn in, as well as a female entering as the youngest member of Congress ever, and Mrs. Nancy Pelosi being re-elected as the first female Speaker of the House.

In the House of Representatives, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of women, as well as a 25 percent increase in the number of Democratic women in the House from the 115th Congress, according to  The 115th House only consisted of 92 women, while the current House is comprised of 102, setting the record for the most women elected into the House.  The current House of Representatives is 23.4 percent female, according to

Members of the House of Representatives Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Ayanna Pressley, Ms. Ilhan Omar, Ms. Deb Haaland, Ms. Veronica Escobar, and Ms. Sharice Davids posing before being sworn into their positions.  Courtesy of

The diversity in the new members is apparent with Ms. Sharice Davids of Kansas and Ms. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, elected as the first Native American women, as well as Ms. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Mrs. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota as the first Muslim women elected into Congress, according to
The average age of the 116th Congress members’ decreased by a full decade, from 57 to 47 years old, compared to the 115th Congress, according to
Twenty-nine-year-old Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is the youngest women ever to serve in Congress.  Ms. Cortez ran against veteran Democratic Rep. Mr. Joseph Crowley of New York, according to

Upper School History Teacher, Mr. Joseph Valentine, commented on how society should feel more accurately represented in the government.

“All citizens in any democratic society should feel like they are being represented in the government and that their voices are being heard,” Mr. Valentine said.  “The diversity in our current Congress is hopefully a result of more Americans voting for who they believe is the best candidate who will uphold the Constitution, to represent them and this great nation moving forward.”

The 116th Congress being sworn in at the Capitol January 3 by Speaker of the House of Representatives Mrs. Nancy Pelosi. Courtesy of

With a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, Democrat Mrs. Pelosi of California was re-elected as the 52nd Speaker.  Mrs. Pelosi was originally elected to the position, January 4, 2007, becoming the first female Speaker of the House, according to

Mr. Valentine highlighted how he believes that there is a need for political figures to govern the nation to the best of their abilities, despite differing cultures and backgrounds.

“All elected officials need to place what is best for America and the American citizens they represent above all other political agendas,” Mr. Valentine said.  “The ability for the President and Congress to effectively govern should not be based on diversity, it should be based on the concept that despite each of our wonderfully vast and diverse backgrounds, we are all Americans.”

Featured Image by Natalie Dosmond ’21