Parliamentary records

Among the parliaments of the world, there are those with claims to have set a "record" as being the oldest, the largest, or the first to have undertaken some legislative reform.


The oldest recorded parliament still in existence is the Althing, the ruling legislative body of Iceland. It was founded in 930 and originally consisted of 39 local chieftains. Abolished in 1800, it was restored by Denmark in 1843.

The oldest continuous parliament is the Tynwald of the Isle of Man. Its exact formation date is generally believed to be 979 but some sources suggest that its origins lie in the early 9th century, which would predate even the Althing.[1]

The first recorded legislative body on record is the bicameral ukkim found in Erech in Iraq that was founded in around 2800 BC.[1]:182


The largest legislative assembly is the Chinese National People's Congress, which consists of around 3000 indirectly elected members.

Women's suffrage

The first administration to introduce the suffrage of women into its constitution was Pitcairn Islands in 1838, although it had no legal standing. South Australia introduced female suffrage in 1861 and the Territory of Wyoming allowed women the vote in 1869, with the Isle of Man following in 1881.

The first country to allow women the vote was New Zealand in 1893.

See also


  1. McWhirter, Norris (1996). Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 0-85112-646-4.