By the Numbers: U.S. Women in Political Leadership


Facts are facts, but facts always subject to interpretation. Many think tanks and pundits have asked the question: “Why are women still so underepresented in political office, especially at the highest levels?


  • Women hold 87, or 16.3%, of the 535 seats in the 110th US Congress
  • Women currently make up 23.5% of state legislatures
  • There are nine women governors
  • The United States ranks 67th internationally in women’s political representation**

Voting Behavior

  • Women, who make up 52% of the population, are more likely to vote than men
  • 67.3 million women reported voting in 2004, 8.8 million more than men
  • Approximately 35 million eligible women didn’t vote on election day 2004

*Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
**Inter-Parliamentary Union

How would you interpret these numbers?

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