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Membership of the 110th Congress: A Profile

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Topic: Government (Public officials)


This report presents a profile of the membership of the 110th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupation, religious affiliation, female and minority Members, foreign-born Members, and military service.

Currently, in the House of Representatives, there are 237 Democrats (including four Delegates), 203 Republicans (including the Resident Commissioner). The Senate has 49 Democrats, including two Independents, who have aligned themselves with the Democrats, and 49 Republicans.

The average age of Members of both houses, at the convening of the 110th Congress, is 57 years; of Representatives, 55.93 years; and of Senators, 61.73 years. The overwhelming majority of Members has a college education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law. Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation of Members. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented.

The average length of service in the House, at the beginning of the Congress, is about 10 years (5.07 terms); in the Senate, 12.82 years (slightly over two terms).

A record number of 90 women serve in the 110th Congress: 74 in the House, 16 in the Senate. There are 42 black or African American Members in the House, including two Delegates, and one black Senator. There are 30 Hispanic or Latino Members serving: 26 in the House, including the Resident Commissioner, and three in the Senate. Nine Members (six Representatives, one Delegate, and two Senators) are Asian, Indian American (Asian), or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander. There is one American Indian (Native American), who serves in the House.

This report will be revised at the commencement of the 111th Congress.