Representatives and Senators: Trends in Member Characteristics Since 1945 [January 27, 2014] [open pdf - 756KB]
"Questions about the characteristics of Members of Congress, including their age, education, previous occupations, and other descriptors, are of ongoing interest to Members, congressional staff, and constituents. Some of these questions may be asked in the context of representation, in efforts to evaluate the extent to which Members of Congress reflect their constituencies and the nation at large. In other instances, questions arise about how the characteristics of Members have changed over time, which may speak in part to the history of Congress. This report provides profiles of Senators and Representatives in selected Congresses since 1945. It includes data based on Representatives and Senators serving on the first day of the 79th -- 113th Congresses for several demographic characteristics. The characteristics discussed include age, including the oldest and youngest Members of the House and Senate; sex; previous occupation; race and ethnicity; education; religion; and military service. Following summaries of each characteristic, the report provides a number of tables that present the detailed data by the category on which the summaries are based. All data tables appear in the 'Member Characteristics Data Tables' section."
CRS Report for Congress, R42365