The 2016 Election: Women in the Massachusetts Legislature

The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators is pleased to announce that we will welcome four new female legislators at the beginning of the 190th General Court! The number of women serving in the legislature will increase from 50 women to 52 women beginning in January 2017.

Thank you to our friends at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston for putting together this informational fact sheet about the 2016 election in Massachusetts!



Women in Congress (2015)

  • Women hold 104 (19.4%) of the 535 congressional seats
  • 20 of the 100 Senate seats are held by women
    • Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren holds one of these seats
    • Of the 20 women Senators, 14 are Democrats and 6 are Republicans
  • 84 of the 435 House seats are held by women
    • Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts hold two of these seats
    • Of the 84 women in the House, 62 are Democrats and 22 are Republicans
  • A total of 307 women have served in Congress: 35 in the Senate only, 261 in the House only and 11 have served in both the House and Senate

Statewide Offices

  • Women hold 77 (24.2%) of the 318 statewide positions across the country
    • 34 are Democrats and 42 are Republicans
    • Massachusetts has four women in statewide offices: Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey, State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and State Auditor Suzanne Bump
  • Only 6 women are currently serving as Governors
  • 13 women are serving as Lieutenant Governor
  • 8 women are serving as Attorney General
  • 13 women are serving as Secretary of State
  • 7 women are serving as State Treasurer
  • 8 women are serving as State Auditor

National Legislatures

  • 1,786 (24.2%) out of the 7,383 legislative seats in the United States are currently occupied by women
    • 1,072 of these women are Democrats, 701 are Republicans and 13 are of other parties
    • 435 (22.1%) of 1,972 state senate seats are held by women
    • 1,351 (25.0%) of 5,411 state house or assembly seats are held by women
    • Massachusetts has 50 women in the legislature out of 200 seats
  • 13 women currently serve as Senate President
  • 3 women currently serve as Speaker of the House
  • Colorado is ranked #1 in the country with 42% of the legislature being female
  • 25% of the Massachusetts legislature is female which earns the Commonwealth a rank of 21st (25.0%) in female legislative leadership as compared to other states
    • In the other New England states, Connecticut ranks 13th (28.9%) in female legislative leadership, New Hampshire ranks 15th (28.8%), Vermont ranks 2nd (41.1%), Maine ranks 12th (29.0%) and Rhode Island ranks 18th (26.3%) nationally compared to other states


For more information on the history and makeup of the Massachusetts Legislature, click here.

For more information on the makeup of legislatures across the United States, click here.

All facts and statistics are adapted from the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University.