Women make up more than a quarter (28%) of all members of the 118th Congress – the highest percentage in U.S. history and a considerable increase from where things stood even a decade ago.
Counting both the House of Representatives and the Senate, women account for 153 of 540 voting and nonvoting members of Congress. That represents a 59% increase from the 96 women who were serving in the 112th Congress a decade ago, though it remains far below women’s share of the overall U.S. population. A record 128 women are serving in the newly elected House, accounting for 29% of the chamber’s total. In the Senate, women hold 25 of 100 seats, tying the record number they held in the 116th Congress.
The 2022 midterm elections sent nearly two dozen new congresswomen to the House, including Becca Balint, a Vermont Democrat who became both the first woman and openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from the state. Of the 22 freshman representatives who are women, 15 are Democrats and seven are Republicans.
The Senate gained just one new female member: Republican Katie Britt, who became the first woman senator from Alabama.
Many female incumbents who sought reelection this midterm cycle – 105 representatives and all five senators – kept their seats. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, who first joined the House in 1983, retained her title as the longest-serving congresswoman in the chamber. California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who’s served in Congress for 35 years and became the first female speaker of the House in 2007, also won reelection. But she announced she wouldn’t run for another leadership role after Republicans flipped control of the House.
Women make up a much larger share of congressional Democrats (41%) than Republicans (16%). Across both chambers, there are 109 Democratic women and 44 Republican women in the new Congress. Women account for 43% of House Democrats and 31% of Senate Democrats, compared with 16% of House Republicans and 18% of Senate Republicans. Still, the number of GOP women in the House is at its highest total yet: 35, up from 30 in January 2021, when the 117th Congress began.