Congress is older, whiter, manlier than the rest of America
Ladies and gentlemen: Your United States Congress!
Congress now includes more women and Asians than ever, but it is considerably less diverse, older, better educated, more likely to have served in the military and not as likely to have been born abroad than Americans over all.
A statistical profile released this week by the Congressional Research Service also found that the average age of representatives (57.2) and senators (63.1) at the beginning of 2009 was among the highest ever.[...]
Only 27 representatives and one senator, Mark Begich of Alaska, have no educational degree beyond a high school diploma. Twenty-four House members hold doctoral degrees, and 168 congressmen and 57 senators have law degrees.
The proportion of military veterans has been steadily declining. The House has 96 veterans, the Senate 25.
Twelve representatives and one senator, Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, who was born in India to American parents, are foreign-born.
A record 93 women (17.2 percent of the total membership) include 76 in the House (59 Democrats and 17 Republicans) and 17 in the Senate (13 Democrats and 4 Republicans).
A record 12 Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders (2 percent of the membership) include 2 senators, 8 representatives and 2 delegates.
The number of black members of Congress surpassed 40 for the first time in 1993, but since 1999 has remained between 39 and 43. Today, 41 (or 7.8 percent) serve in the House and one in the Senate (Roland W. Burris, Democrat of Illinois).
Twenty-eight House members and one senator (Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey) are Hispanic, or 5.4 percent of both Houses.
Most members are Protestant, but Roman Catholics constitute the largest single religious denomination.
Full report here (pdf).
Photo credit: Senate Photo Studio
February 10, 2010; 3:31 PM ET
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