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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile

Jennifer E. Manning
Information Research Specialist

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 112th Congress (2011-2012). 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.

Currently, in the House of Representatives there are 240 Republicans, 196 Democrats (including 5 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner), and 5 vacant seats. The Senate has 47 Republicans, 51 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who caucus with the Democrats.

The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 56.7 years; and of Senators, 62.2 years. The overwhelming majority of Members have 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 for Representatives at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 9.8 years (4.9 terms); for Senators, 11.4 years (1.9 terms).

Ninety-three women serve in the 112th Congress: 76 in the House, including 3 Delegates, and 17 in the Senate. There are 43 African American Members of the House (a record number) and none in the Senate. This House number includes 2 Delegates. There are 31 Hispanic or Latino Members serving: 29 in the House, including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner, and 2 in the Senate. Twelve Members (eight Representatives, two Delegates, and two Senators) are Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander. The only American Indian (Native American) serves in the House.

Date of Report: August 15, 2012
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: R41657
Price: $29.95

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