Now that we’re two months into the 112th U.S. Congress, how well do you really know your Congress?
Do you know them as well as your local professional basketball or baseball team?
What follows is a statistical breakdown of the 112th Congress, as compiled by the Congressional Research Service, involving such characteristics as party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, and foreign births.
112th Congress: A Statistical Profile
• Since 1789, 12,013 individuals have served in Congress: 10,737 in the House and 1,930 in the Senate.
• Average age of House members: 56.7 years; Senators: 62.2 years.
• Average length of service for Representatives: 9.8 years (4.9 terms); for Senators, 11.4 years (1.9 terms).
• 241 Republicans currently serve in the House of Representatives, 199 are Democrats (including five Delegates and the Resident Commissioner), and 1 vacant seat. The Senate has 51 Democrats; 2 Independents, who caucus with the Democrats; and 47 Republicans.
• The average age of new Members of the House, including a Delegate and the Resident Commissioner, was 48.2 years.
• The average age of new Senators was 52.1 years.
• Aaron Schock (R-IL), age 29, born May 28, 1981, is the youngest House member.
• Ralph Hall (R-TX), 87, born May 3, 1923, is the oldest House member, as well as the oldest current Member of Congress.
• Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), 87, born January 23, 1924, is the oldest member serving in the Senate.
• Mike Lee (RUT), 39, born June 4, 1971, is the youngest U.S. Senator.
• 8 Representatives and 1 Senator (1.6 percent of the entire 112th Congress) were born outside the United States. Their places of birth include Cuba, Taiwan, India, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, and Canada.
• 49 Senators have previous House service
• There are 2 medical doctors in the Senate; 1 veterinarian and 1 ophthalmologist.
• There are 15 medical doctors in the House (including one delegate), 2 dentists, 1 veterinarian, 1 ophthalmologist, and 1 psychiatrist.
• 2 psychologists serve in the House; 1 optometrist serves in the Senate.
• The House additionally has 6 nurses; and 5 ordained ministers.
• The 112th Congress has 39 former mayors (29 in the House, 10 in the Senate)
• The House has 10 judges; 26 prosecutors are members of the 112th Congress (8 in the Senate, and 18 in the House, including a Delegate), who have served in city, county, state, federal or military capacities.
• 4 Peace Corps volunteers serve in the House.
• 3 sheriffs, 2 deputy sheriffs, 2 FBI agents, and 1 border patrol agent serve in the House, while the Senate has 1 firefighter.
• 1 physicist, 1 chemist, 6 engineers, and 1 microbiologist all serve in the House.
• The 112th Congress has 4 radio talk show hosts ( 2 in the House, 2 in the Senate), the House also has 3 radio or television broadcasters , 6 reporters or journalists (2 in the House, 4 in the Senate), 1 radio station manager, 1 public television producer, 1 sportswriter, and 1 television commentator all serve in the House.
• 7 accountants serve in the House and 2 in the Senate.
• 4 pilots serve in the House, including a former pilot of Marine One (the President’s helicopter), while 1 astronaut serves in the Senate.
• 2 screenwriters are members of the 112th Congress (one House, one Senate), 1 comedian is in the Senate, 1 documentary film maker is a member of the Senate; and 2 professional football players both serve in the House.
• The 112th Congress has 17 farmers (15 House, 2 Senate) and 11 ranchers (9 House, 2 Senate).
• 2 almond orchard owners both serve in the House, 1 farm manager is a Senator; 1 cattle farm owner is also a Senator; 1 vintner is a House Member, and 1 fruit orchard worker is also a House Member.
• 7 social workers serve in the House and 2 n the Senate
• 92 percent of House Members and 99 percent of Senators hold bachelor’s degrees.
• 26 Members of the House and 1 Senator have no educational degree beyond a high school diploma.
• 7 Members of the House have associate’s degrees as their highest degree, with 1 House member holding an LPN (nursing) degree.
• 83 Members of the House and 16 Senators earned a master’s degree as their highest educational degree.
• 167 Members of the House (38 percent of the total); and 55 Senators (55 percent of the total Senate) hold law degrees.
• 2 Senators and 2 Representatives were Rhodes Scholars.
• 3 Representatives were Fulbright Scholars, 1 Representative was a Marshall Scholar, and 1 Representative was a Truman Scholar.
• 57 percent of the Members (248 in the House, 56 in the Senate) are Protestants
• 29 percent of the Members (132 in the House, 24 in the Senate) are Catholic.
• 7 percent of the members (27 in the House, 12 in the Senate) are Jewish.
• 3 Buddhists and 2 Muslims serve in the House.
• Other religious affiliations represented in the 112th Congress, include: Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon).
Gender and Ethnicity
• 92 women (17.0 percent of the total membership) serve in the 112th Congress, from which 75, including three Delegates, serve in the House and 17 in the Senate.
• Of the 75 women in the House, 51 are Democrats, including the 3 Delegates, and 24 are Republicans. Of the 17 women serving in the Senate, 12 are Democrats and 5 are Republicans.
• 44 African- American Members (8.1 percent of the total membership, a record number) serve in the House, including two Delegates
• 42 African-Americans are Democrats, including two Delegates, and 2 are Republicans.
• 15 African-American women serve in the House, including 2 Delegates.
• There are 31 Hispanic or Latino Members of the 112th Congress; comprising 5.7 percent of the total membership. Of the members of the House, 21 are Democrats (including two Delegates), 8 are Republicans, and 7 are women.
• There is 1 male Hispanic Senator from each party.
• 1 set of Hispanic Members, Representatives Linda Sanchez and Loretta Sanchez, are sisters.
• 13 members of the 112th Congress (3 percent of the total membership) are of Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander ancestry.
• 11 (10 Democrats, 1 Republican) Asian Pacific Members serve in the House; 2 (both Democrats) serve in the Senate. Of those serving in the House, 2 are Delegates.
• 4 of the Asian members are female, all in the House.
• For the first time, a Bangladeshi-American is a member of the U.S. Congress.
• 1 American Indian (Native American), a Republican is a House Member of the 112th Congress.
February 24, 2011
Source: Congressional Research Service; CQ Roll Call Member Profiles; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life