WASHINGTON (AP) — One reason Congress is so polarized: Republicans and Democrats represent very different people.
Using census data, The Associated Press looked at House districts represented by Republicans and Democrats and found some stark differences. In general, Republican districts are whiter, more rural and a little older than districts represented by Democrats. Democratic districts tend to have more Hispanics, more poor families and more concentrations of people without health insurance
Demographics alone don’t explain why members of Congress can’t seem to get along. Politics and ideology play roles, too. But the disparities show how demographics can influence hot-button issues like immigration, the minimum wage and President Barack Obama’s health law.
Statistics for the average House district represented by Republicans and Democrats:
– White, non-Hispanic residents
Republican districts: 74 percent.
Democratic districts: 51 percent.
– Black residents
Republican districts: 9 percent.
Democratic districts: 17 percent.
– Hispanic residents
Republican districts: 11 percent.
Democratic districts: 23 percent.
– Per capita income
Republican districts: $26,848.
Democratic districts: $27,893.
– Families living in poverty.
Republican districts: 10.5 percent.
Democratic districts: 13.3 percent.
– Number of districts with more than 20 percent of families living in poverty.
Republican districts: 2.
Democratic districts: 38.
– Share of residents without health insurance in 2012
Republican districts: 14 percent.
Democratic districts: 16 percent.
– Number of districts where more than a quarter of the population had no health insurance: