Women's Representation

RepresentWomen compiles information about the current status of women's representation through research from other organizations as well as through our own original research. 

To learn more about our research and to see how each U.S. state ranks in terms of women's representation, check out the 2018 Gender Parity Index.        

Click on a topic to begin.

U.S. Overview

Women are 51% of the population in the U.S. but make up only:

  • 25% of the U.S. Senate
  • 23% of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • 28% of statewide elected executives
  • 29% of state legislative seats
  • 22% of mayors in cities with populations over 30,000
  • 0% of presidents of the United States


For certain demographics, the numbers are even worse

Women of color, Republican women, young women, and low-income women are especially underrepresented.

Learn more about how demographics affect representation


In 2018 women of color only make up:

  • 37% of the women serving in Congress
  • 16% of the women serving as statewide elected executives
  • 24% of female state legislators
  • 10% of mayors in the nation’s 100 largest cities 

In 2018 Republican women only make up:

  • 32% of women serving in the U.S. Senate
  • 13% of women serving in the U.S. House
  • 33% of women serving as governors
  • 31% of women state legislators


Source: Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University (CAWP). Updated January 2019.



Women's Representation in Local Government


Find out how voting reforms can impact local elections


Executive Office

Women serve as mayors in 20 of the 100 largest cities, according to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.

infogram_0_copy_rep2020_mayors_newRep2020 mayors (new)//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?ENRtext/javascript


Legislative Bodies

Among the largest 100 cities in the United States, the average percentage of women on city councils with only at-large seats is 40% while the average percentage of women on city councils with only single member district seats is 31%. When city councils have both at-large seats and single-member district seats, the average percentage of women is 35%. 

infogram_0_9c0550f9-0e2f-4f2d-819c-4550518bbc25Rep2020 At-large vs. Single Winner Women's Representation//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?vGItext/javascript


Women's Representation in State Government


Find out how voting reforms can impact state elections


Statewide Executive Office

Only 6 out of 50 U.S. states have women governors, 12 women serve as lieutenant governors, and 57 women hold other statewide offices such as attorney general or secretary of state. 23 states have never elected a woman governor.

infogram_0_36e1ad3e-a5af-4abf-84d5-5d57524b5bd1Rep2020 Statewide Executive Offices//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?IT4text/javascript

Number of women serving: 72 out of 312
Percentage of women: 23.1%
Number of Republicans: 43
Number of Democrats: 28
Women of color: 8
First woman elected in her own right: Ella Grasso (CT) in 1975


infogram_0_for_website_states_that_have_never_elected_a_woman_governorRep2020 States that Have Never Elected A Woman Governor//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?5Ogtext/javascript



State Legislatures

Number of women serving: 1,878 out of 7,383 seats
Percentage of women: 25.4%
Number of Republicans: 706
Number of Democrats: 1,145
Number of nonpartisans: 114
Number of independents: 7

Number of Progressives: 5

Number of Working Families Party: 1

Women of color: 454
First women elected: Clara Cressingham, Carrie C. Holly, and Frances Klock - 1894


infogram_0_8ab466b1-010d-4ce0-aab8-845eec8147afRep2020 Percentage of Women in State Legislatures, 1993-2015//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?kCqtext/javascript

infogram_0_8d859155-74cb-482d-80bd-66be0bc8d0e5Rep2020: Women in State Legislatures, By Party//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?RtGtext/javascript


 Data from the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University

Women's Representation in Congress

Find out how voting reforms can impact federal elections

infogram_0_a8eb417c-ac8f-4b3d-ac79-e3f7d3dfcc81Rep2020: Percentage of Women in Congress, 1993-2015//e.infogr.am/js/embed.js?GK7text/javascript

infogram_0_b7d9a013-add9-4366-bb35-43ad2af85449Rep2020 Historical Total of Female Representatives in Congress//e.infogr.am/js/embed.js?M5ztext/javascript

U.S. House of Representatives

Number of women serving: 84* out of 435
Percentage of women: 19.3%
Number of Republicans: 23
Number of Democrats: 61
Women of color: 34* (31D, 3R)
First woman elected: Jeannette Rankin (MT) in 1916 
*Does not include women delegates from the U.S. Territories
Fact sheet from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

infogram_0_us_house_of_representativesRep2020 U.S. House of Representatives//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?onWtext/javascript

U.S. Senate

Number of women serving: 23 out of 100
Percentage of women serving: 23%
Number of Republicans: 5
Number of Democrats: 18
Women of color: 4 (4D, 0R)
Most represented states: CA, NH, WA, MN
First woman elected: Hattie Caraway (AR) in 1932 

Fact sheet from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

infogram_0_4865b94b-0eaa-499c-ae83-8472ccc64a2cRep2020 U.S. Senate//e.infogr.am/js/embed.js?9M4text/javascript




Women's Representation in U.S. Territories

Four out of the six (66.7.%) non-voting representatives in the House of Representatives are women. By contrast, only 127 out of the 535 (23.7%) elected members of Congress from the fifty states are women. 

infogram_0_us_territories_vs_the_50_states_in_percentage_of_elected_delagates_that_are_womenUS Territories in Comparison to the 50 US States in Terms of Percentage of Female Elected Representatives//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?1PMtext/javascript

District of ColumbiaArtboard_1DC.png


Mayor: Muriel Bowser (D) has served as mayor since 2015. Sharon Pratt Kelly served as mayor from 1991-1995. She was also the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city

City Council: Four of the District's 13 city council members (31%) are women

Delegate to U.S. House: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) has served as the District's one non-voting representative in Congress since 1991


Puerto RicoArtboard_1PR.png


Governor: Síla Calderon served as the first and only woman governor from 2001-2005

Legislature: Fourteen of the 81 seats (17%) are held by women

Mayors: Carmen Yulín Cruz and María Meléndez are mayors of San Juan and Ponce, the largest and fourth largest cities respectively.

Delegate to the U.S. House: Jenniffer González was elected Resident Commissioner in 2016 and is the first woman to hold the position




Governor: Lou Leon Guerrero, elected in 2018, is the first woman to serve as Governor.

Legislature:Ten of the 15 seats (67%) are held by women. Tina Muña Barnes currently serves as Speaker and Telena Cruz nelson as vice-Speaker.

Mayors: Dededo, Tamuning, and Barrigada, Guam's first, third, and fifth largest villages respectively, all have female mayors

Delegate to the U.S. House: Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D) served as Guam's first woman non-voting delegate from 2003 to 2019.


U.S. Virgin IslandsArtboard_1USVI.png


Governor: No woman has served as governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Legislature: Four of 15 seats (26.7%) are held by women

Delegate to the U.S. House: Stacey Plaskett (D) currently serves as the delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, starting in 2015. Her predecessor, Donna Christian-Christensen, served from 1997-2015


Northern Mariana IslandsArtboard_1CNMI.png


Governor: No woman has served as governor of the Northern Mariana Islands

Legislature: Four of the 29 seats (13.8%) are held by women. This is the second-lowest percentage in the country.

Mayors: Saipan has never had a woman mayor.

Delegate to the U.S. House: No woman has served as the delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives


American SamoaArtboard_1AS.png


Governor: No woman has served as governor of American Samoa

Legislature: Two out of 39 seats (5.1%) are held by women. This is the lowest of any state or territory in the country.

Delegate to the U.S. House: Amata Coleman Radewagen has served as American Samoa's first female non-voting delegate since 2015

Women's Representation Internationally

The United States ranks behind 76 countries for women's political representation, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Visit their site to find the most up to date information on international women's representation.

Click here to see a full list of how countries rank for women’s representation, what type of voting system is used, and whether or not they have a quota.


infogram_0_b82bcafc-b9c4-4f57-8d04-287a253554c8Women's Rep Map 2019https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?D6qtext/javascript





Women in Executive and Legislative Office


Women's Representation in the Judiciary

Women attend law school at equal rates as men but are underrepresented as judges

  • 33% of Supreme Court Justices
  • 34% of Federal Judges (excluding the Supreme Court)
  • 33% of State Judges

Out of the 114 justices that have served on the Supreme Court, there have only been four women - three of whom are currently on the bench. Fifty nine of the 167 active judges currently sitting on the thirteen federal courts of appeal are female (35%).

These numbers are even worse for women of color

  • 11% of Supreme Court Justices
  • 7% of Federal Judges (excluding the Supreme Court)
  • 8% of State Judges

Women of color are less represented than any other demographic group, as their numbers (at the state level) represent a mere 40% of their relative numbers in the general population. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first and only woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court. 

Is representation improving?

When in office, President Obama facilitated significant progress for women judges and more than doubled the number of women of color to federal judicial positions. 42 percent of his confirmed nominees to federal courts were women. 

Unfortunately, this progress does not seem to be continuing under President Trump, who has appointed 84 active federal judges, with only 20 of them being women. 

The Brennan Center for Justice tracks best practices to get more women into judicial offices in the United States.

RepresentWomen is working with a team of attorneys from We The Action to craft innovative strategies to increase the number of women in elected and appointed judicial positions in the United States.

Learn more about women in the judiciary

Sources: National Women's Law Center, The Gavel Gap, Alliance for Justice, Federal Judicial Center, National Association of Women Judges

Join us in turning public passion for gender parity into action and results