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House of Lords Library

House of Lords: Statistical Profile of Membership

Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This House of Lords Library briefing presents a range of information about the membership of the House of Lords as the House was composed on Friday 11 March 2016.

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Key findings include:

  • Conservatives comprised the largest party or group, with 30.8 percent of eligible Members
  • Men made up 74.4 percent and women made up 25.6 percent of the eligible membership
  • The majority of Members—84.2 percent—sat by virtue of a life peerage conferred under the Life Peerages Act 1958
  • More Members of the House fell into the 70–79 age band than any other age band
  • Most Members in each party or group fell into the 70–79 age band; with the exception of the Liberal Democrats and Bishops, groups in which most Members fell into the 60–69 age band
  • 34 Members were aged under 50
  • 16 Members were aged 90 or over

Section one includes tables which detail the composition of the House. Table 1.1 details the composition of the House by party/group affiliation and membership type; Table 1.2 by party/group affiliation and gender; and Table 1.3 by type of peerage and gender.

Section two provides information about the age profile of the House. Table 2.1 provides a snapshot of the membership of the whole House by age bands. Table 2.2 breaks this information down by party/group affiliation. Table 2.3 lists those Members aged under 50; and Table 2.4 lists those Members aged 90 and over. Table 2.5 lists those Members who were aged under 40 when they received a life peerage.

Section three includes tables which list various categories of current Members by length of membership of the House. Table 3.1 lists the 50 longest continuously serving Members of the House who were eligible to participate in the proceedings of the House as at 11 March 2016. Table 3.2 lists life Peers who had served as Members of the House for 30 years or more as at this date; and Table 3.3 lists all female Peers who have served as Members of the House for 20 years or more.

Section four directs interested readers to the House of Lords Library briefing Membership of the House of Lords: Ethnicity, Religion and Disability (12 June 2014) for further information on this subject area.

This briefing updates the House of Lords Library Note House of Lords: Profile of Membership (2 June 2015), which provided background information on the membership and age profile of the House of Lords, together with information on the public positions held by Members, as the House was composed on 30 March 2015—the date on which the 2010–15 Parliament was dissolved.

Lords Library notes LLN-2016-0017

Author: Thomas Brown

Topics: House of Lords, Members of the Lords

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.