If Washington seems more divided than ever, it may be because Republicans and Democrats in Congress come from very different worlds.
Republican America is drastically whiter and more rural than Democratic America. Its residents are more likely to live in homes they own, more likely to live in a household headed by a husband and wife, and less likely to either hold a college degree or have dropped out of high school.
These charts show how the parts of America represented in the House of Representatives by Republicans differ from those represented by Democrats.
Race and ethnicity:
75% of people who live in Republican congressional districts are white non-Hispanic. In Democratic districts, that’s just 51%.
Black, Hispanic and Asian residents are all about twice as common in Democratic districts.
Democratic America is almost entirely urban, while Republicans represent a mix of urban and rural areas.
Residents of Republican congressional districts are relatively likely to have moderate levels of education: a high school diploma, some college, or an Associate’s Degree. Democratic districts have more residents who didn’t finish high school and more with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
Owner-occupation is dominant in Republican congressional districts. Democratic districts are much more evenly divided; 42% of households there are renting.
52% of households in Republican districts include a husband and wife. In Democratic districts, that’s just 44%. Most of the difference does not come from single-parent families; rather, Democratic districts contain a lot more non-family households (like roommates or people living alone) and “other” family types (like parents living with their adult children or adult siblings living together).
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