This briefing paper provides data on the gender, age, ethnicity and educational backgrounds of Members of Parliament elected at the 2019 General Election and how this has changed over time.

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Gender

There were 220 female MPs elected at the 2019 General Election (34% of all MPs). This was the highest ever number and proportion. In 1979 there were 19 women MPs, 3% of the total.

Age

Since 1979, the average age of MPs has remained around 50 years.  49% of MPs elected in 2019 were aged over 50. Members aged 18-29 and those over 70 each represented 3% of the total. As of March 2020, comprehensive information about age was not available most of the MPs who were newly elected in 2019, see section 3 for details.

Ethnicity

In 2019, 65 MPs were from non-white backgrounds, 10% of the total. This was an increase of 25% compared to 52 in 2017. In contrast, there were 4 ethnic minority MPs elected in 1987. Currently, around 15% of the UK population is from a non-white background.

Education

Conservative MPs elected at the 2019 General Election were the most likely to have attended a fee-paying school: 41% compared to 30% Liberal Democrat, 14% Labour and 7% SNP, according to data published by the Sutton Trust.

Parliamentary experience

140 MPs elected in 2019 had no previous Parliamentary experience (22%). 495 (76%) had been MPs in the 2017-19 Parliament and 15 were re-elected having served as MPs further in the past.

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Supporting documents