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The record for number of Latinos in Congress was achieved with the help of districts with few Hispanics

Most Hispanics win in areas where the community is more than half of the population, but since 2011 districts with less than 10% of Latinos are electing Hispanic legislators to the House of Representatives, mainly from the Republican Party.

Hispanics have been gaining more and more positions in the House of Representatives, to reach the historical figure of 38 legislators. Their number and influence began to increase in the 80s, with the growth of the Latino population and thanks to electoral reforms and judicial decisions that sought to protect minorities.

Hispanics in the House

of Representatives

Total Representatives in the house: 435

Democrats

38

34

Republicans

29

28

24

23

23

23

19

11

6

5

1971

81

91

01

05

07

09

11

13

15

17

2019

Hispanics in the House

of Representatives

Total Representatives in the House: 435

Democrats

38

Republicans

34

29

28

24

23

23

23

19

11

6

5

1971

81

91

01

05

07

09

11

13

15

17

2019

Hispanics in the House

of Representatives

38

34

Total Representatives in the House: 435

29

Democrats

28

Republicans

24

23

23

23

19

11

6

5

1971

1981

1991

2001

2005

2007

2009

2011

2013

2015

2017

2019

Latinos also win in districts white majorities

Traditionally it could be said that Latino representatives only won in districts where there was a Hispanic majority. However, the following graph shows that this trend has changed: in the last 5 Congresses they have begun to win white majority districts and where Hispanics are less than 10%.

In the 116th Congress that begins in 2019, there are larger white population than hispanics in 20% of the districts with Latino representatives.

How to read the chart below

1. Each circle is a Latino representative

Hispanics in the district

100%

Lucille

Roybal-Allard

Hispanos: 87.6%

50%

2. Its vertical position indicates the % of Hispanics

in the district

Bill Flores

Hispanos: 25.4%

0%

How to read the chart below

Hispanics in the district

1. Each circle is a Latino representative

100%

Lucille

Roybal-Allard

Hispanic: 87.6%

50%

2. Its vertical position indicates the % of Hispanics

in the district

Bill Flores

Hispanos: 25.4%

0%

How to read the chart below

Hispanics in the district

100%

1. Each circle is a Latino representative

Lucille

Roybal-Allard

Hispanos: 87.6%

50%

2. Its vertical position indicates the % of Hispanics

in the district

Bill Flores

Hispanic: 25.4%

0%

Latino representatives

Democrats
Republicans
% of Hispanics in the district
Of the 38 Hispanics, 10 join the House of Representatives this year. Five of them are Democrats who won in districts that were in the hands of Republicans.
This House of Representatives will have 12 Latina women, three more than the previous session. Texas is represented twice by Sylvia García (TX-29) and Verónica Escobar (TX-26).
Five of the 38 Latinos in the House are Republicans and four of them represent districts where the majority are white.
Traditionally, Hispanics have won in states where most Latinos like California are concentrated. They currently represent 14 of the 53 districts in the state.
In Texas, the second state with more Latinos, they won 7 districts.
However, in recent years they have also made history by being elected in other states where non-Hispanic whites are the majority. Three Republican Latinos represent West Virginia, Washington and Ohio.

Hispanics will have a record number of representatives in the new Congress, but it is not yet equivalent to their proportion in the country: Latinos comprise 18% of the population, while their percentage in the House of Representatives does not reach 9%.

To reach a parity of ethnicity and gender, the number of Hispanic legislators would have to double, and 26 of those new 38 legislators would have to be women.

Sources and methodology: The legislators included in our list of Latinos in the House of Representatives are those who have roots in Spanish-speaking countries. We use the same definition as the Census and the National Association of Latino Officials (NALEO). The biographical information of the legislators comes from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, the Secretariat of the House of Representatives, “Hispanic Americans in Congress” of the Archives of the House of Representatives, SmartVote.com, Pew Research Center, official websites and consultations with legislators' offices. Demographic data on the percentage of Hispanics in each district were taken from the 1990, 2000, 2010 Census and American Community Surveys surveys. The photos are from Getty Images and representatives' websites.