Facts About Women Legislators

Women Leadership is... on the Rise!

Women are the greatest rising force in American politics today. Thirty years ago, women held a mere 13% of all state legislative seats in the country, today they hold 24% of 7,383 seats nationwide. Currently, 20 women serve in the US Senate and 78 serve in the US House of Representatives, while 73 women hold statewide elective office including 5 state governorships. Women chair numerous committees, they influence policy and they understand the importance of building bipartisan coalitions to offer solutions to the nation's most pressing concerns and ensure widespread change in both thought and policy on a variety of issues.

Congress:

Women currently hold 18% (78) of the seats in the 113th Congress.

  • Senate - women hold 20% (20) of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate.
  • House - women hold 17.9% (78) of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Statewide Elective Offices:

Women hold 23.4% (76) of the 320 statewide elected executive offices across the country.

  • Governors - 5
  • Lieutenant Governors - 11
  • Attorneys General - 8
  • Secretaries of State - 12

State Legislatures:

Currently 24.2% (1,788) if of the 7,383 state legislators in the nation are women. Since 1971, the number of women serving in the state legislatures has more than quintupled!

  • Women hold 20.8% (411) of the 1,972 state senate seats.
  • Women hold 25.4% (1,377) of the 5,411 state house seats.

Municipal Offices:

The number of women serving as mayors, on city councils, and as county commissioners and supervisors is on the rise. As a result of the large number of offices held at the local level, data is still being compiled, however key statistics include:

  • Among the 100 largest cities in the country, 12 have women mayors.
  • Of the 252 mayors of U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 and over, 17.6% (44) are women.
  • Of the 1,248 mayors of U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 and above, 17.4% (217) are women.

* This research was conducted by the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University.