The Tennessee State Legislature

The Legislature consists of two chambers: a 33-member Senate and a 99-member House of Representatives. The most recent election for the state legislature was on November 6, 2018. The Tennessee State Legislature maintains age requirements for candidacy; Senate: 30 years of age, House: 21 years of age.

 

Tennessee Demographic Background

The largest generation in Tennessee is the Baby Boomer Generation, which consists of 25.5% of the population. The smallest generation is the Silent Generation, consisting of about 11.9% of the population. 1,2 About 74% of people in Tennessee are White/Caucasian, 5.2% are Hispanic or Latino, and 16.7% are Black or African American.3

Generational Breakdown of the Tennessee State Legislature

About 1% of members of the Tennessee House of Representatives are Millennials, while 3% of members of the Tennessee State Senate are Millennials. The largest generation represented in the Tennessee State Legislature is the Baby Boomer Generation, comprising about 50% of the Tennessee House of Representatives and 60% of the Tennessee State Senate. The largest generation represented in the Tennessee State Legislature is the Baby Boomer Generation, comprising of about 25% of the Tennessee population. The Millennial Generation is underrepresented in the Tennessee State Legislature. The average age of a Tennessee state legislator is 56/57. There are 3 Young Elected Leaders age 35 or younger in the legislature.

 

Generational Composition of the Tennessee State Legislature

 

Generational Breakdown of the Tennessee House of Representatives
Generation Number of Members % of Total Members
Millenial Generation 7 7%
Generation X 34 34%
Baby Boomer Generation 47 47%
Silent Generation 4 4%
NA* 7 7%

Note: *Indicates state legislators for whom there is no birth date on record.

  • The average age of a member in the Tennessee House of Representatives is 55/56
  • The youngest member is 28 (London P. Lamar)
  • The oldest member is 89/90 (Barbara Ward Cooper)
  • Two individuals are Young Elected Leaders
    • London P. Lamar, age: 28
    • Mark Cochran, age: 33
Generational Breakdown of the Tennessee State Senate
Generation Number of Members % of Total Members
Millenial Generation 2 6%
Generation X 7 21%
Baby Boomer Generation 20 60%
Silent Generation 2 6%
NA* 2 6%

Note: *Indicates state legislators for whom there is no birth date on record.

  • The average age of a member in the Tennessee State Senate is 60/61
  • The youngest member is 35 (Raumesh A. Akbari)
  • The oldest member is 76/77 (Dolores R. Gresham)
  • One individual is a Young Elected Leader
    • Raumesh A. Akbari, age: 35

Gender Breakdown of the Tennessee State Legislature

Twenty of the 132 legislators are female. On average, female legislators are two years younger than their male colleagues. There is one female Young Elected Leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Approximately 10% of members of the Tennessee House of Representatives and about 24% of members of the Tennessee State Senate are women.

 

Gender Composition of the Tennessee House of Representatives

 

Gender by Generation in the Tennessee House of Representatives

 

Gender of Young Elected Leaders in the Tennessee House of Representatives

There is one female Young Elected Leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

 

Gender of the Tennessee State Senate

 

Gender by Generation in the Tennessee State Senate

 

Ethnic Breakdown of the Tennessee State Legislature

Seventy-three percent of state legislators are White/Caucasian. There are 3 Black/African-American members in the Tennessee State Senate, and 12 Black/African-American members in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Blacks/African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are underrepresented in the Tennessee State Legislature compared to the Tennessee state population.

 

Ethnicity by Generation in the Tennessee House of Representatives

 

Ethnicity of Young Elected Leaders in the Tennessee House of Representatives

There is one White/Caucasian Young Elected Leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

 

Ethnicity by Generation in the Tennessee State Senate

Partisan Breakdown of the Tennessee State Legislature

A majority of the members of the Tennessee House of Representatives and Tennessee State Senate are Republican. Out of the 2 Young Elected Leaders in the Tennessee House of Representatives,  1 is a Democrat and 1 is a Republican.

 

Partisanship of the Tennessee State Legislature

 

Partisanship by Generation of the Tennessee House of Representatives

 

Partisanship by Generation of the Tennessee State Senate

Notes

  1. The Young Elected Leaders Project collects and analyzes data on young elected officials across the country. We define Young Elected Leaders as officials 35 years and younger. We define the generations following the Pew Research Center:
  • Generation Z: 1997-2012
  • Millennial Generation: 1981-1996
  • Generation X: 1965-1980
  • Baby Boom Generation: 1946-1964
  • Silent Generation: 1928-1945

2. Single Years of Age and Sex, 2010, US Census.

3. Geographic and Housing Estimates (Age, Sex, Race, Households and Housing, …) 2017, US Census.

This analysis is based on data from January 2019 and was conducted on May 8, 2019.

See the Young Elected Leaders in the 116th United States Senate