Length of Congressional Service: First Through 107th Congresses

Order Code RS21285 August 9, 2002 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Length of Congressional Service: First Through 107th Congresses David C. Huckabee Specialist in American National Government Government and Finance Division Summary This report presents data on the length of service for Representatives and Senators from 1789 to 2002. The data are from a computer file on the biographical characteristics of Members of Congress maintained at the University of Michigan. The data are presented in nine tables, one for House and Senate service combined, and eight more, four for each chamber. Table 1 covers the entire period from 1789 to 2002, showing the total number of terms served summing House and Senate service together. Table 2 (House) and Table 6 (Senate) also cover the entire period, but they summarize service in the respective chambers. Table 3 and Table 7 include data for the 18th and 19th centuries; Table 4 and Table 8 cover the 20th and 21st centuries; and Table 5 and Table 9 cover the period from 1947 to 2002. Each table is a arranged in a similar fashion, showing how many Members served in only one Congress, how many served in two Congresses, etc; the proportion of the total each group represents; a running total (cumulative number of Members) in each category; and a similar cumulative percent. Efforts to impose limits on the tenure of Members of Congress have not been successful, but many have centered on a 12-year limit.1 One may contrast the proportion of Members who served more than 12 years for each body for the periods covered. Overall, in the House, 13.9% of the Representatives elected to serve during the period 1789-2002 served more than six Congresses (12 years); the figure was 21.9% in the Senate (see Tables 2 and 6). The comparable figures for the 18th and 19th centuries were 2.8% for the House and 10.9% for the Senate (Tables 3 and 7). The proportion of Members serving for more than 12 years in the 20th and 21st centuries is 26.9% for the House and 31.7% for the Senate (Tables 4 and 8). The data for the post-WWII period, beginning in 1947, sums to 35.1% for the House and 41.2% for the Senate (Tables 5 and 9). 1 For a discussion of these efforts, see CRS Report 96-152 GOV, Term Limits for Members of Congress: State Activity, by Sula P. Richardson. Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CRS-2 Table 1. Congressional Service: 1st-107th Congresses, 1798-2002 Total no. of Congresses served 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 Number served Number of Percent of total Members Members 3,547 30.4 2,373 20.4 1,559 13.4 898 7.7 689 5.9 573 4.9 411 3.5 318 2.7 293 2.5 240 2.1 163 1.4 141 1.2 100 0.9 82 0.7 77 0.7 50 0.4 36 0.3 32 0.3 16 0.1 11 0.1 13 0.1 13 0.1 4 0.0 4 0.0 4 0.0 1 0.0 1 0.0 1 0.0 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Members percent 3,547 30.4 5,920 50.8 7,479 64.2 8,377 71.9 9,066 77.8 9,639 82.7 10,050 86.3 10,368 89.0 10,661 91.5 10,901 93.6 11,064 95.0 11,205 96.2 11,305 97.0 11,387 97.7 11,464 98.4 11,514 98.8 11,550 99.1 11,582 99.4 11,598 99.6 11,609 99.6 11,622 99.8 11,635 99.9 11,639 99.9 11,643 99.9 11,647 100.0 11,648 100.0 11,649 100.0 11,650 100.0 Note: In this table House and Senate service are summed together (denoted as “congressional service”). The source for all the tables in this report is: McKibbin, Carroll, and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), Roster of United States Congressional Officeholders and Biographical Characteristics of Members of the United States Congress, 1789-1996: Merged Data, ICPSR study no. 7803 (Ann Arbor, MI). Frequencies, percentages, and 1997-2002 data updates are by CRS. These data are for the total number of Congresses served. They make no distinctions for breaks in service, and Members who only served part of a term are counted as having served a complete term. Table 2. House Service: 1st-107th Congresses, 1798-2002 Total no. of Number served Congresses Number of Percent of total served Representatives Representatives 1 3,409 32.8 2 2,354 22.7 3 1,294 12.5 4 854 8.2 5 619 6.0 6 412 4.0 7 326 3.1 8 260 2.5 9 197 1.9 10 190 1.8 11 116 1.1 12 85 0.8 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Representatives percent 3,409 32.8 5,763 55.5 7,057 67.9 7,911 76.1 8,530 82.1 8,942 86.1 9,268 89.2 9,528 91.7 9,725 93.6 9,915 95.4 10,031 96.6 10,116 97.4 CRS-3 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 70 54 49 32 23 13 8 4 7 4 2 3 2 1 1 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 10,186 10,240 10,289 10,321 10,344 10,357 10,365 10,369 10,376 10,380 10,382 10,385 10,387 10,388 10,389 98.0 98.6 99.0 99.3 99.6 99.7 99.8 99.8 99.9 99.9 99.9 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Table 3. House Service: 1st-56th Congresses, 1798-1901 (18th and 19th Centuries) Total no. of Number served Congresses Number of Percent of total served Representatives Representatives 1 2,398 42.9 2 1,685 30.1 3 718 12.8 4 354 6.3 5 181 3.2 6 100 1.8 7 55 1.0 8 35 0.6 9 30 0.5 10 13 0.2 11 6 0.1 12 3 0.1 13 3 0.1 14 4 0.1 15 3 0.1 16 2 0.0 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Representatives percent 2,398 42.9 4,083 73.0 4,801 85.9 5,155 92.2 5,336 95.5 5,436 97.2 5,491 98.2 5,526 98.9 5,556 99.4 5,569 99.6 5,575 99.7 5,578 99.8 5,581 99.8 5,585 99.9 5,588 100.0 5,590 100.0 Table 4. House Service: 57th-107th Congresses, 1901-2002 (20th and 21st Centuries) Total no. of Number served Congresses Number of Percent of total served Representatives Representatives 1 1,016 21.1 2 671 14.0 3 576 12.0 4 500 10.4 5 439 9.1 6 312 6.5 7 271 5.6 8 225 4.7 9 167 3.5 10 177 3.7 11 110 2.3 12 82 1.7 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Representatives percent 1,016 21.1 1,687 35.1 2,263 47.1 2,763 57.5 3,202 66.6 3,514 73.1 3,785 78.7 4,010 83.4 4,177 86.9 4,354 90.6 4,464 92.9 4,546 94.6 CRS-4 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 67 50 46 30 23 13 8 4 7 4 2 3 2 1 1 1.4 1.0 1.0 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 4,613 4,663 4,709 4,739 4,762 4,775 4,783 4,787 4,794 4,798 4,800 4,803 4,805 4,806 4,807 96.0 97.0 98.0 98.6 99.1 99.3 99.5 99.6 99.7 99.8 99.9 99.9 100.0 100.0 100.0 Table 5. House Service: 80th-107th Congresses, 1947-2002 Total no. of Number served Congresses Number of Percent of total served Representatives Representatives 1 367 15.2 2 258 10.7 3 265 11.0 4 257 10.6 5 252 10.4 6 170 7.0 7 142 5.9 8 137 5.7 9 103 4.3 10 112 4.6 11 72 3.0 12 57 2.4 13 53 2.2 14 42 1.7 15 42 1.7 16 27 1.1 17 17 0.7 18 12 0.5 19 8 0.3 20 4 0.2 21 7 0.3 22 4 0.2 23 1 0.0 24 3 0.1 25 2 0.1 26 1 0.0 27 1 0.0 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Representatives percent 367 15.2 625 25.9 890 36.8 1,147 47.5 1,399 57.9 1,569 64.9 1,711 70.8 1,848 76.5 1,951 80.8 2,063 85.4 2,135 88.4 2,192 90.7 2,245 92.9 2,287 94.7 2,329 96.4 2,356 97.5 2,373 98.2 2,385 98.7 2,393 99.0 2,397 99.2 2,404 99.5 2,408 99.7 2,409 99.7 2,412 99.8 2,414 99.9 2,415 100.0 2,416 100.0 CRS-5 Table 6. Senate Service: 1st-107th Congresses, 1798-2002 Total no. of Congresses served 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 25 Number served Number of Percent of total Senators Senators 332 17.6 202 10.7 500 26.6 127 6.7 108 5.7 201 10.7 72 3.8 54 2.9 94 5.0 21 1.1 23 1.2 56 3.0 16 0.8 18 1.0 21 1.1 11 0.6 5 0.3 10 0.5 4 0.2 2 0.1 4 0.2 1 0.1 1 0.1 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Senators percent 332 17.6 534 28.4 1,034 54.9 1,161 61.7 1,269 67.4 1,470 78.1 1,542 81.9 1,596 84.8 1,690 89.8 1,711 90.9 1,734 92.1 1,790 95.1 1,806 95.9 1,824 96.9 1,845 98.0 1,856 98.6 1,861 98.8 1,871 99.4 1,875 99.6 1,877 99.7 1,881 99.9 1,882 99.9 1,883 100.0 Table 7. Senate Service: 1st-56th Congresses, 1798-1901 (18th and 19th Centuries) Total no. of Congresses served 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 Number served Number of Percent of total Senators Senators 158 17.9 144 16.3 282 31.9 67 7.6 62 7.0 75 8.5 33 3.7 17 1.9 22 2.5 8 0.9 5 0.6 4 0.5 2 0.2 1 0.1 1 0.1 2 0.2 1 0.1 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Senators percent 158 17.9 302 34.2 584 66.1 651 73.6 713 80.7 788 89.1 821 92.9 838 94.8 860 97.3 868 98.2 873 98.8 877 99.2 879 99.4 880 99.5 881 99.7 883 99.9 884 100.0 CRS-6 Table 8. Senate Service: 57th-107th Congresses, 1901-2002 (20th and 21st Centuries) Total no. of Congresses served 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 25 Number served Number of Percent of total Senators Senators 174 17.4 58 5.8 218 21.8 60 6.0 46 4.6 126 12.6 39 3.9 37 3.7 72 7.2 13 1.3 18 1.8 52 5.2 14 1.4 17 1.7 20 2.0 9 0.9 5 0.5 9 0.9 4 0.4 2 0.2 4 0.4 1 0.1 1 0.1 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Senators percent 174 17.4 232 23.2 450 45.0 510 51.1 556 55.7 682 68.3 721 72.2 758 75.9 830 83.1 843 84.4 861 86.2 913 91.4 927 92.8 944 94.5 964 96.5 973 97.4 978 97.9 987 98.8 991 99.2 993 99.4 997 99.8 998 99.9 999 100.0 Table 9. Senate Service: 80th-107th Congresses, 1947-2002 Total no. of Congresses served 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 25 Number served Number of Percent of total Senators Senators 74 14.8 24 4.8 74 14.8 37 7.4 24 4.8 61 12.2 21 4.2 24 4.8 55 11.0 5 1.0 13 2.6 36 7.2 10 2.0 9 1.8 7 1.4 4 0.8 4 0.8 7 1.4 4 0.8 1 0.2 4 0.8 1 0.2 1 0.2 Running totals Cumulative no. of Cumulative Senators percent 74 14.8 98 19.6 172 34.4 209 41.8 233 46.6 294 58.8 315 63.0 339 67.8 394 78.8 399 79.8 412 82.4 448 89.6 458 91.6 467 93.4 474 94.8 478 95.6 482 96.4 489 97.8 493 98.6 494 98.8 498 99.6 499 99.8 500 100.0