Where We Stand
South Carolina continues to grow. Since the 2010 census, our population is estimated to have increased by nearly 10 percent. Slightly more than 51 percent of our population is female, but in 2021, women will hold just 17.6 percent of seats in the state legislature (five in the S.C. Senate and 25 in the S.C. House). Of the 170 state legislators, only 10 are Black women.
Until very recently, South Carolina voters had never sent a woman to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Since 1993, there had been no women at all representing South Carolina in the U.S. Congress.
That changed in 2020, when Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) was elected to represent the state’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She took her seat in January 2021.
No woman of color from South Carolina has ever served in the U.S. Congress.
Want the details on how many women are in office nationally and statewide? Click on the links below.
U.S. Census Data
The 2020 U.S. Census is now complete. When we enter into the redistricting process in 2021, South Carolina may have an additional Congressional district, and most legislative districts will likely change. That is why we all need to understand and have confidence in the redistricting process our state will undergo.
Women in U.S. Elected Office
In 2021, 143 women will serve in the U.S. Congress –24 in the Senate and 119 in the House. The number of women in statewide elective executive posts was 95, and the proportion of women in state legislatures is 30.8 percent. Kamala Harris is the first woman to hold the office of Vice President.
Women of Color in U.S. Elected Office
Of the 143 women serving in the 117th U.S. Congress, 51, or 35.7%, are women of color; in addition, a Black woman, a Latina, an Asian Pacific Islander, and a Caribbean American woman serve as Delegates to the House from Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands, respectively. Women of color constitute 9.5% of the total 535 members of Congress.
Women in Elected Office in South Carolina
In 2021, South Carolina ranked a dismal 46th among the 50 states with respect to the number of women in elected office. While this is an improvement from our 50th ranking just eight years ago, we can do much better. Below are more detailed statistics on S.C.’s standing as of 2021. Source: Center for American Women and Politics
Total Senators: 2
Total Women: 0
Total Members: 7
Total Women: 1
Statewide Elected Executive Positions
S.C. State Senate:
Total Senators: 46
Total Women: 5
S.C. House of Representatives:
Total Members: 124
Total Women: 25
Percentage of Women: 17.6%
Ranking among state legislatures for the proportion of women: 46
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