What’s the average age of US Senators and Members of Congress?
After Congress narrowly avoided a federal government shutdown, we take a look at the composition of the Senate and House of Representatives.
The United States’ Congress has approved a crucial short-term funding bill that prevents a federal government shutdown. The Republican-led House of Representatives had struggled to find consensus on a funding package, while the Senate easily passed the bipartisan proposal.
The two Houses of Congress have become increasingly disparate in recent years with significant demographic shifts in both chambers. A Pew Research study of the 118th Congress found that the House of Representatives is getting younger, while the average age of a Senator is on the rise.
The median age of a member of the House of Representatives is 57.9 years, down from 58.9 in the 2021-22 Congress. The opposite trends has been observed in the Senate where the median age has risen to 65.3 years, compared to 64.8 in the 117th Congress.
Who are the oldest lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives?
Much has been made of the fact that the 2024 presidential election could well be contested by two men in theirs 80s. There are also a number of members who were in their 80s when they took their seats in the 118th Congress.
In the Upper House Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) was the oldest at 89. He was marginally older that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who passed away in recent days.
The oldest current member of the House of Representatives is Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-California), who was 86 years old. There are another 11 Representatives who were in their 80s, including a handful who have held senior roles.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (82) was House Speaker until the start of this year, while Rep. Steny Hoyer (84) served as her number two in the House.
Who are the youngest lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives?
The age of senior politicians in the United States has been the subject of much debate. However there are still a number of young members in both Chambers of Congress.
In the Senate Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia) was the youngest at 35 years, while 38-year-old Sen. J. D. Vance (R-Ohio) was the second-youngest. Those are the only two Senators aged below 40.
The House of Representatives has dozens of members younger than 40, and one lawmaker who is still in their 20s. Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-Florida) was only 25 when he was voted in and became the first member of Gen Z to enter Congress.