Ladies and Gentlemen (mostly Gentlemen), Your US Congress

Having been a poli-sci geek for the better part of my life, political representation has always been one of the core  issues that I, personally, find interesting and important to this movement.

As this new statistical study shows, by the Congressional Research Service, Congress is made up of old white men.  I bet you’re thinking, no shit Sherlock, congress is always been full of old white guys since the time when Jefferson fought Columbus for American sovereignty from Lithuania in 1548.

Outside of that very, very wrong historical background (and if any of you believed that you need a stern talking to), you’re right. The thing about this study though, is that it shows great strides for people of color and women.

In the study, it showed that:

  • Average age for a Representative: 57.2, Average age for a Senator: 63.1, Age range for Congress [28,92]
  • Some of the member’s jobs included: 16 doctors, 2 dentists, 3 nurses, 2 veterinarians, a psychologist, 4 ministers,5 accountants, 3 physicists, 2 radio talk show hosts, 2 vintners, a comedian, 2 professional musicians, a river boat captain, a taxicab driver, a mortician, an auctioneer, a toll booth collector, a hotel clerk, and a casino dealer.
  • 95 percent of Congress members received a university degree. There is only one member of Congress, Sen. Mark Beigich (D-AK), with less than a college degree.
  • Women made up 17.2 percent of Congress. This includes 76 in the House  and 17 in the Senate.
  • APAs made up 2 percent of total membership with 2 in the Senate, 8 in the House and 2 delegates.
  • Blacks made up 7.8 percent, with 1 Senator and 41 Representatives
  • Hispanic members, which include 28 Representatives and 1 Senator, made up 5.4 percent of Congress.
  • There is only one American Indian in Congress, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
  • 12 members were Foreign Born from places like Cuba, Mexico, Taiwan, India, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, Canada, Vietnam, and the Netherlands.
  • Congress has majority of Protestant Christians, although Roman Catholicism has the most members in one denomination. But Congress also has 2 Buddhists and 2 Muslim members.

In short, we’ve done a lot in diversifying the political representation in DC, but we still have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of us in making sure that Washington looks like us, looks like America.

source: Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile

photo source from: Treehugger

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