Publication Date

2-17-2017

Abstract

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 4, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.

In the House of Representatives, there are 240 Republicans (including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), 197 Democrats (including 4 Delegates), and 4 vacant seats. The Senate has 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats.

The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 115th Congress was 57.8 years; of Senators, 61.8 years, among the oldest in U.S. history. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law. Most Members identify as Christians, and Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented, including Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostal Christian, Unitarian Universalist, and Christian Science.

The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 115th Congress was 9.4 years (4.7 House terms); for Senators, 10.1 years (1.7 Senate terms).

One hundred nine women (a record number) serve in the 115th Congress: 88 in the House, including 5 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, and 21 in the Senate. There are 49 African American Members of the House and 3 in the Senate. This House number includes two Delegates. There are 45 Hispanic or Latino Members (a record number) serving: 40 in the House, including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner, and 5 in the Senate. Eighteen Members (13 Representatives, 2 Delegates, and 3 Senators) are Asian Americans, Indian Americans, or Pacific Islander Americans. This is also a record number. Two American Indians (Native Americans) serve in the House.

The portions of this report covering political party affiliation, gender, ethnicity, and vacant seats will be updated as events warrant. The remainder of the report will not be updated.

Comments

Suggested Citation
Manning, J. E. (2017). Membership of the 115th Congress: A profile (CRS Report R44762). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service.

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