5.5.1 - Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments

The data shows the percentage of women who hold seats in national parliament, devolved parliaments and assemblies, and local authority councils for all countries of the UK where data are available. The data are presented in nine categories. The House of Commons and House of Lords are representative of the entirety of the UK. In contrast, the data for local authority councillors are separated by country as are the devolved parliament and assembly seats of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

• Since 1918, when women were first permitted to stand as MPs, the UK has had a total of 559 different women elected to the House of Commons (as of 04/03/2022).

• Until 1997 there had never been more than 10% of seats held by women. There are currently 225 female MPs in the House of Commons. At 35%, this is an all-time high.

• There are 229 female Members of the House of Lords, making up 28%.

• Six ministers in the current Cabinet (27%) are women. The highest proportion of women in Cabinet was 36% between 2006 and 2007.

• 43% of Members of the Welsh Parliament are women, along with 45% of the Scottish Parliament and 36% of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

See the House of Commons Library Briefing Paper for more information.


Choose categories from the dropdowns below to see different breakdowns of the data. Some will not be available until a higher level is chosen.

Download headline data (.csv) Download source data (.csv)

Download source data for disaggregations (.csv)

Headline data

Source: House of Commons Library

Geographical Area: United Kingdom

Unit of Measurement: Percentage (%)


1) Data for the House of Commons are only available for the general election years.

2) In 1974 there were two General elections in February (labelled a) and October (labelled b).

3) Data for the Scottish Parliament/Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, the Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly are calculated at the beginning of an assembly, and do not take into account changes during the course of that assembly.

4) Years on graph axis represent years in which any election was held.

5) The x-axis is not spaced evenly by year.

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Source 6

Source 7

Source 8

Source 9

Back to top