Women in the 118th Congress

CAWP Data on Women in the Upcoming Congress

50th Years of CAWP

Ahead of the swearing in of the 118th Congress on January 3rd, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, has prepared key data points about women’s representation in the next Congress. In addition to the following data points, CAWP provides a more thorough analysis, with data visualizations, of women in 2022 congressional elections and in the next Congress in Women in Election 2022: Marking Midterm Progress, our report on the 2022 midterm elections.

Among the notable facts about the 118th Congress:

  • A record 149 (106D, 42R, 1Ind) women will serve in the U.S. Congress as of January 3, 2023.
  • A record 124 (91D, 33R) women will serve in the U.S. House.
  • While the freshman class of women in the 118th House is notably large (22 [15D, 7R]) in historic terms, the gains by non-incumbent women winners in election 2022 were offset by the highest count of incumbent House women departures in history (21 [15D, 6R]).
  • Of the 22 new women serving in the 118th House, 14 (63.6%) previously served in state legislatures. Perhaps more notably, almost one-third (7) of the newly-elected women in the U.S. House were first elected or appointed to state legislative office since the 2016 election, suggesting that the increase in women’s success at the state legislative level from 2017 to today has had important implications for women’s representation at higher levels of office.
  • The start of the 118th Congress marks the swearing in of the most racially/ethnically diverse group of women officeholders in the U.S. House to date, including new record highs in representation for Black and Latina/Hispanic women. The limited racial/ethnic diversity of women in the U.S. Senate, however, remains unchanged from the 117th to the 118th Congress.

The following data points reflect women’s status in the 118th Congress as of January 3rd, 2023. CAWP’s officeholder database and fact sheets about women in Congress on our website will continue to display information about the 117th Congress until January 3rd, after which they will be updated for the new Congress. An asterisk (*) before a number below denotes a new record.
 

  • *149 women will serve in the 118th Congress, holding 27.9% of seats. The previous record of 147 was set in 2022.
    • 106 Democratic women will serve in Congress. The record for Democratic women in Congress is 107, set in 2022.
    • *42 Republican women will serve in Congress. The previous record of 41 was set in 2022.
  • 25 women will serve in the U.S. Senate, holding 25% of seats. The record for women in the Senate is 26, first set in 2020.
    • 15 Democratic women will serve in the Senate. The record for Democratic women in the Senate is 17, set in 2018.
    • 9 Republican women will serve in the Senate, matching the record originally set in 2020.
    • 1 woman will serve in the Senate as an independent. Kyrsten Sinema will be the first woman to serve as an independent in the U.S. Congress.
    • 1 (1R) non-incumbent woman will join the Senate in the 118th Congress: Katie Britt (R-AL).
  • *124 women will serve in the U.S. House, holding 28.5% of seats. The previous record of 123 was set in 2022.
    • 91 Democratic women will serve in the House, matching the current record, which was set in 2022.
    • 33 Republican women will serve in the House, matching the current record, which was set in 2022.
    • 22 (15D, 7R) women will join the freshman class of House members in the 118th Congress. The record for women members of a congressional freshman class is 36, set with the 116th Congress following the 2018 midterms. 

Women in the 118th Congress by race and ethnicity:

  • 10 (8D, 2R) Asian American/Pacific Islander women will serve in the 118th Congress.
    • 8 (6D, 2R) in the House.
    • 2 (2D) in the Senate.
  • *27 (27D) Black women will serve in the 118th Congress. The previous record of 26 was first set in 2021.
    • *27 (27D) in the House. The previous record of 26 was set in 2022.
    • Zero in the Senate.
  • *19 (14D, 5R) Latina/Hispanic women will serve in the 118th Congress. The previous record of 15 was set in 2022.
    • *18 (13D, 5R) will serve in the House. The previous record of 14 was set in 2022.
    • 1 (1D) in the Senate.
  • 1 (1D) Middle Eastern/North African woman will serve in the 118th Congress.
    • 1 (1D) in the House.
    • Zero in the Senate. No Middle Eastern/North African woman has ever served in the Senate.
  • 2 (2D) Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian women will serve in the 118th Congress.
    • 2 (2D) in the House.
    • Zero in the Senate. No Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian woman has ever served in the Senate.
  • 94 (55D, 38R, 1Ind) white women will serve in the 118th Congress.
    • 72 (43D, 29R) in the House.
    • *22 (12D, 9R, 1Ind) in the Senate. The previous record of 21 was set in 2021.

The Congress section of our report on the 2022 midterms, Women in Election 2022: Marking Midterm Progress, contains detailed analyses about women in congressional contests and in the 118th Congress, including:

  • Historical comparisons to previous and record cycles, particularly 2018 and 2020.
  • Win rates for candidates by gender, party, incumbency status, and chamber.
  • Information about departing incumbents and non-incumbent winners.
  • Race and ethnicity data on women candidates, nominees, and officeholders over time and by party and chamber.
  • Changes in women’s representation in each state’s congressional delegation as a result of the 2022 election.
  • Analysis of general-election contests by nominee gender (man vs. man, woman vs. woman, mixed-gender).

Additional sections analyzing women’s electoral success in 2022 and 2023 officeholding at the gubernatorial, statewide elective executive, and state legislative levels will be released when all new officeholders at those levels have been sworn in nationwide. Read the full report here

Contact

Daniel De Simone: ddesimone@eagleton.rutgers.edu; 760.703.0948