WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - FiscalNote, a leading technology provider of global policy and market intelligence, today released a demographic report, “European Parliament Demographics 2021: Age, Party, Gender”, showing an institution where women continue to be underrepresented, and where the median age of parliamentarians remains much older than the median age of the population of the 27 European Union (EU) nations.
Despite making history in 2019 by electing its first female European Commission President, Ursula von der Layen, only 40 percent of seats in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg are filled by women. Progress to reach gender parity has been slow: it has taken 27 years for female representation to double from almost 20 percent in 1994 to 40 percent in 2021.
The report shows only two of the 27 countries represented in the EU Parliament - Finland and Sweden - are majority women-led, at 57 percent each. Nations with an even split in gender representation are Denmark, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Slovenia.
Interestingly, FiscalNote’s study found a distinct ideological division in female representation in the EU Parliament: liberal/centrist (Renew Europe), Greens (Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL), and left-of-center political groups (S&D) are at or closest to gender parity, while conservative (ECR and I&D) and right-of-center (EPP) groups show the widest gender gaps in their delegations.
At the same time, the study also highlights ‘age gaps’ in the demographics of EU parliamentarians - both in terms of overall and ideological representation.
While the median age of the EU population amongst its 27 represented nations is 43.9 years, in parliament it is 52 years of age. However, while 20.6 percent of the EU population is aged 65 and over, only 15 percent of the members of Parliament are 65 or older. The most represented age group in the European Parliament is currently 45-54, with 55-64 the second largest age group.
Similar to the gender divide among political groupings in Strasbourg, when it comes to age demographics it is right–of-center (EPP) and conservative (ECR) groups which have the highest average age of parliamentarians, at 54 and 55 respectively. For liberal/centrist, left-of-center, and Greens parliamentarians, the average age is at or lower than the median age of 50. Lithuania and Latvia have the oldest median age of MEPs, while Malta and Sweden have the youngest.
FiscalNote’s “European Parliament Demographics 2021: Age, Party, Gender” report was generated by leveraging the company’s EU Issue Tracker and curated data sources which enable and optimize key insights for global policymakers and organizations who rely on market intelligence to power business decisions.
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