Congress increases diversity
Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 7, 2003 at 12:15 a.m.
WASHINGTON - A record 22 Hispanics will be sworn into the House of Representatives on Tuesday, and there will be 37 blacks, one more than last year. But despite the slightly greater diversity, Congress remains far more white and male than the people it writes laws for.
There are no blacks or Hispanics in the 100-member Senate, nor are there any black Republicans in the House after Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts retired last year. But an unprecedented 14 women will be in the Senate in 2003, joined by 60 women in the House, the same as in 2002. About 51 percent of the U.S. population is female, compared with 14 percent of the House and 14 percent of the Senate.
The 37 blacks in the House compares with a record 39 blacks there from 1993 through 1996. Still, only 8.5 percent of the House is black and only 5 percent is Hispanic. Hispanics and blacks each make up 12 percent of the U.S. population.
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