More Hispanics, women are in Congress

WASHINGTON — More Hispanics and women serve in Congress than ever, but the number of veterans in the legislature has continued to steadily decline, according to a demographic profile from the Congressional Research Service.

The report, dated Oct. 31, shows that 37 Hispanics and 101 women are members of the 113th Congress, while 88 lawmakers — or less than 17 percent — have served in the military.

Veterans represented a significantly higher proportion of lawmakers during previous decades. In the 97th Congress (1981-1982), for example, they made up 64 percent of the legislature.

The Congressional Research Service issues a report on the demographics of every Congress. A few other interesting facts from this year’s report:

57: The average age of House lawmakers at the beginning of the current legislature.

62: The average age for the Senate. The average age for newly elected lawmakers was 49 for the House and 53 for the Senate. The minimum ages for those chambers of Congress are 25 and 30, respectively.

9.1: Average number of years members of the House had served. This represents 4.6 terms.

10.2: Average number of years members of the Senate had served. This represents 1.7 terms.

56: Percent of Congress who identify themselves as Protestants, with Baptists making up the largest group within that segment. Thirty-one percent of lawmakers call themselves Catholic. Six percent are Jewish and nearly 3 percent are Mormons. Three members are Buddhist, two are Muslim and one is a Hindu.

43: Number of African Americans in Congress. There are two Native Americans and 13 Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders holding congressional seats.

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