118th Congress: Educated, Older and Religious

According to an updated report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS), the makeup of the 118th Congress remains highly educated, older and religious. 

The profile of House and Senate members, compiled and summarized by Jennifer E. Manning, Senior Research Librarian at CRS, found that 96% of all members of Congress (99% of senators, 93.8% of representatives) hold at least one bachelor’s degree. There has been a significant uptick in education levels for members of Congress over the past sixty years, with 76% of senators and representatives having a bachelor’s degree in the 87th Congress (1961-1962). 

Members of Congress remain, on average, older than the U.S. workforce, with the average age for House members being 57.9 years and that of the Senate sitting at 64 years. By comparison, the average age for all workers in the labor force is just under 42 years. There is a 64-year age gap between the youngest member of Congress (Maxwell Frost, 26) and the oldest (Chuck Grassley, 90). 

By a significant margin, members of the House and Senate overwhelmingly (96%) identify with a religious faith. Over 86% belong to a Christian tradition, whether Protestant, Catholic or Mormon. By contrast, Jewish members make up 6.2% of Congress. Seven congressmen and women are Buddhist (2), Muslim (3) or Hindu (2). 

The profile, found here, lists other identifying factors for members of Congress, including gender and racialized identity, occupational background and prior years of congressional service. 

The 118th Congress began on January 3, 2023 and will conclude on January 3, 2025. 

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