Order Code RS20760
Updated December 6, 2002
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Membership of the 107th Congress: A Profile
Mildred L. Amer
Specialist in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 107th Congress. Included
is information on numbers of Members, party affiliation, average age and length of
service, occupations, religious affiliation, military service, female and minority
Members, and foreign-born Members.
Currently, in the House, there are 223 Republicans, 208 Democrats, and one
Independent who is aligned with Democrats. The Senate has 49 Democrats, 49
Republicans, and one Independent who is aligned with the Democrats.
The average age of Representatives is 54.4; of Senators, 59.8 An overwhelming
majority of Members have a college education. The dominant profession of Members
continues to be law, followed by business.
Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation of Members.
Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and there are
numerous other affiliations represented.
The average length of service in the House is nearly 9 years; in the Senate, nearly
A record number of women serve in the 107th Congress. There are 74 female
Members: 61 in the House, 13 in the Senate. There are 21 Hispanic Members, all in the
House, including two Delegates—one from Guam and the other from Puerto Rico.
There are 39 black Members, all in the House, and including two Delegates. Eight
Members are Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islanders. There are three Native
For background information on earlier Congresses, please refer to CRS Report
RL30378, Black Members of the United States Congress: 1789-2001; CRS Report
RL30261, Women in the United States Congress: 1917-2001; and CRS Report 97-398,
Asian Pacific Americans in the United States Congress. This report will be revised at
the commencement of the 108th Congress unless significant changes occur in the 107th
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
The 107th Congress: A Profile
Congress is composed of 540 individuals from the 50 states, as well as the District
of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. This
count assumes that no seat is temporarily vacant.1 The following is a profile of the 107th
Congress, which officially commenced on January 3, 2001.2
In the 107th Congress, the current party breakdown in the House is 223 Republicans,
208 Democrats, and one Independent who is aligned with the Democrats.3 The Senate
has 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and one Independent who is aligned with the
The average age of the Members of the 107th Congress is 55, slightly older than the
Members of the 106th Congress. The average age of Senators is 59.8, slightly older than
Senators in the previous several Congresses. The average age of Representatives is 54.4,
also slightly older than the last several Congresses.
Representatives must be at least 25 when they take office. The youngest
Representative, and youngest Member of Congress, is Adam Putnam (R-FL), who is 28.
The oldest Representative is Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), who is 79.
Senators must be at least 30 when they take office. The youngest Senator is Peter
Fitzgerald (R-IL) who is 42, and three weeks younger than Blanche Lambert Lincoln (DAR). The oldest Senator, and oldest Member of Congress, is Strom Thurmond (R-SC),
who is 99.
As has been true in previous Congresses, law and business are the dominant
professions in the 107th Congress.5 Other professions include journalism, education,
agriculture, law enforcement, and public service. A closer look at the prior occupations
of Members of the 107th Congress also shows:
Note that since 1789, 11,645 individuals (not including Delegates) have served in Congress:
9,783 only in the House, 1,232 only in the Senate, and 630 in both houses.
Information on the five Delegates is included only where indicated.
There are three vacancies in the House, including one because of the expulsion of a Member
on July 24, 2002. There is one vacancy in the Senate.
Julie R. Hirschfeld, “Congress of Relative Newcomers Poses Challenge to Bush, Leadership,
“CQ Weekly,” vol. 59, Jan. 20, 2001, p. 178.
Ibid, pp. 181-182; and “Some House Statistics,” CQ Daily Monitor, vol. 36, no. 174, Nov. 9,
2000, p. 5.
nine medical doctors (including an ophthalmologist and a psychiatrist),
three dentists, two veterinarians, an optometrist, three nurses, one
pharmacist, and two psychologists;
12 state Governors, nine state Lieutenant Governors, three state first
ladies (one of whom was also the first lady of the United States), the head
of the U.S. Veterans Administration, a state supreme court justice, and
a federal judge;
a president of the National Conference on State Legislatures and 275
former state legislators;
100 congressional staffers (including seven congressional pages and one
Senate Watergate Committee staffer), 11 White House staffers or
fellows, one former aide to the Secretary of Defense, and one former
five police officers (including a Capitol policeman), two sheriffs, two
FBI agents, two probation officers, two CIA agents, two volunteer
firemen, a CIA analyst, and a border patrol chief;
two physicists, two chemists, a biomedical researcher, and a
six Peace Corps volunteers;
an astronaut, an actor, a radio talk show host, a television sportscaster, a
motivational speaker, a commercial airlines pilot, a fireworks company
executive, a major league baseball player, one major league football
player (who was also a college football coach), a florist, a librarian, a
winemaker, and a vineyard owner; and
two auctioneers, a steelworker, an iron worker, two carpenters, a gospel
singer, a river boat captain, a hotel bellhop, two jewelry makers, a taxicab
driver, and a race track blacksmith.
As has been true in previous Congresses, the Members of the 107th Congress are well
educated. At least 403Members of the House and 96 Senators hold bachelor’s degrees,
129 Members of the House and 19 Senators have master’s degrees, 164 Members of the
House and 53 Senators hold law degrees, 19 Members of the House and one Senator have
Information includes Delegate. The education of the freshmen Members of the 107th Congress
is from “Guide to the New Congress,” CQ Daily Monitor, vol. 36, no. 174, Nov. 9, 2000, pp. 1637. Information on the other Members is from CRS files.
doctoral degrees, and 12 Members of the House and three Senators hold medical degrees.7
In addition, there are two graduates of the U. S. Military Academy, one in the House
and one in the Senate; one Senator who is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy; one
Representative (a woman) who is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy; four Rhodes
Scholars in the House and three in the Senate; and one Marshall Scholar in the House.
At the beginning of the 107th Congress, the average length of service of
Representatives is nearly 9 years or four and a half terms, slightly longer than that of the
105th and 106th Congresses. Representatives are elected for 2-year terms. Representative
John Dingell (D-MI) has the longest consecutive service of any Member of the 107th
Congress (46 years). He is currently the dean of the House. His service began on
December 13, 1955.9
At the beginning of the 107th Congress, the average length of service of Senators is
nearly 11½ years, slightly less than two terms. Senators are elected for 6-year terms.
Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) has served longer (46 years) than any other Member of
the Senate in history. His current service began on November 7, 1956. Previously he
served in the Senate from December 24, 1954, to April 4, 1956. Senator Robert Byrd (DWV) is the Democrat with the longest Senate service in history. His service began on
January 3, 1959, and he is the Senate President pro tempore.
Most Members of the 107th Congress cite a specific religious affiliation. Protestants
such as Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc., collectively constitute the
majority religious affiliation of Members. However, Roman Catholics account for the
largest single religious denomination. Other affiliations, such as Greek Orthodox, Jewish,
Christian Scientist, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), make
up the balance.
Female and Minority Members
A record number (74) of women serve in the 107th Congress: 61in the House and 13
in the Senate. Of the 61 in the House, 43 are Democrats, including two Delegates, and
18 are Republicans. In the Senate, ten women are Democrats; three are Republicans.
Seven Representatives, one Delegate, and one Senator have an M.D. degree; three
Representatives have a D.D.S. (dental) degree; two Senators have a D.V.M. (doctor of veterinary
medicine) degree; and one Representative has an O.D. degree.
Note that 49 Senators in the 107th Congress have previously served in the House of
Representative Philip M. Crane (R-IL), who has served in the House for 33 years, is the
Republican in the 107th Congress with the longest continuous House service.
“Congress of Relative Newcomers ... ,” CQ Weekly, p. 181.
There are 21 Hispanic Members in the 107th Congress, the same as the record
number in the 106th Congress. All are Members of the House, and two are Delegates.
Eighteen are Democrats, six are women.
There are 39 black Members of the 107th Congress, two less than the record number
of 41 in the 104th Congress. The black Members, including two Delegates, serve in the
House, and all but one are Democrats. Fifteen black women serve in the House, including
Eight Members are of Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander heritage. Five
serve in the House and two in the Senate. Two of the six House Members are Delegates,
one of whom (from Guam) is also Hispanic. One Member is an African American with
Filipino heritage. All are Democrats.
There are three Native Americans, two are House Democrats, and the other a Senate
Currently, seven Members of the House were born outside the United States. Their
places of birth include Cuba, Hungary, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands. No
current Senators were born outside the United States, although a number of previous ones
There are 130 (79 Republicans, 51 Democrats) Members of the House who have had
some form of military service, including one woman. In the Senate, 38 Members have
had some form of military service, 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats. This includes
service in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, and during
times of peace, as well as membership in the Reserves and the National Guard. One
Senator is a former Secretary of the Navy. There has been a steady decline in the number
of Members who have served in the military, which may be attributed in part to the end
of selective service in 1973.
“Born Abroad,” CQ Daily Monitor, vol. 36, no. 135, Sept. 12, 2000, p.7.
Information supplied by The Retired Officers Association’s Government Relations Office, 201
N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (phone: 703-838-8173).