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House of Lords Library

House of Lords: Statistical Profile of Membership—January 2017

Published Monday, February 6, 2017

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 27 January 2017.

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All information presented is accurate as at this date unless otherwise stated. Key findings include:

  • The total membership of the House was 839. Of this total, 805 Members were eligible to attend.
  • The majority of Members—84.1 percent—sat by virtue of a life peerage conferred under the Life Peerages Act 1958. Excepted hereditary peers accounted for 10.8 percent of the membership.
  • Of the eligible membership: Conservatives comprised the largest party or group, with 253 Members (31.4 percent). Labour Members comprised the second largest party or group, with 203 Members (25.2 percent).
  • Men made up 74.3 percent and women made up 25.7 percent of the House. This compares with 74.4 percent and 25.6 percent respectively as at 11 March 2016.
  • The mean average age was 69; the median average age was 70; and the modal average age was 74. This is unchanged from 11 March 2016. 
  • Most Members in each party or group, except the Bishops, fell into the 70–79 age band.
  • 40 Members were aged under 50 and 13 Members were aged 90 or over. This compares with 34 Members aged under 50 and 16 Members aged 90 or over as at 11 March 2016. 

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. Section 2.1 provides information on average ages. Table 2.2 provides a snapshot of the membership of the whole House by age bands. Table 2.3 breaks this information down by party/group affiliation. Table 2.4 lists those Members aged under 50; and Table 2.5 lists those Members aged 90 and over. Table 2.6 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. Table 3.2 lists life peers who had served as Members of the House for 30 years or more; 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). 

This briefing updates the House of Lords Library Note House of Lords: Statistical Profile of Membership (23 March 2016), which provided information on the membership of the House as at 11 March 2016.

Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0008

Author: Thomas Brown

Topics: House of Lords, Members of the Lords

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