The United States Senate 2016
Generational Breakdown of the United States Senate
- Millennial Generation: 1981-1998*
- Generation X: 1965-1980
- Baby Boom Generation: 1946-1964
- Silent Generation: 1928-1945
* When appropriate, we include those who were born after 1998 within the “Millennial Generation” percentages (referred to as “Post-Millennial” by Pew Research Center).
YELP follows the generational distinctions used by The Pew Research Center.
The Millennial Generation has overtaken the Baby Boom Generation as the largest generation.
How does the generational breakdown of the U.S. Senate compare to that of the general population?
|Generation||Number of Senators|
|Baby Boom Generation||65|
- The average age of the Senate is 60 years old
- The youngest member is 40 years old (Tom Cotton, R-AK)
- The oldest member is 84 years old (Dianne Feinstein, D-CA)
- There are no Young Elected Leaders in the Senate
The Baby Boom Generation generation holds a disproportionate majority in the Senate and accounts for more than three-fifths of the entire chamber. Millennials, despite being the largest generation in terms of population, are the least represented with no current members of the Senate.
Partisanship of the U.S. Senate
The United States is a two-party system with the Democrats and Republicans as the two dominant parties. Currently, a plurality of the United States identifies as Democrat while Republicans and Independents comprise the remaining amount.
How does the partisanship breakdown of the U.S. House of Representatives compare with that of the general population?
Partisanship by Generation of the US Population
|Party||Number of Senators|
*Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar (both MN) are identified as Democratic Farmer Labor Party
- Mary Heitkamp (ND) is identified as Democratic Nonpartisan League
Partisanship by Generation of the U.S. Senate
Party Identification of the U.S. Senate by Generation
|Generation||Number of Democrats||Number of Republicans||Number of Independents|
|Baby Boom Generation||35||30||0|
As the Republican Party holds the majority of seats in the Senate, the partisanship of the chamber is not representative of the population as a whole, which leans Democratic. Those who identify as Independent are especially underrepresented in the Senate, as Independents only hold two seats. The partisanship of the population as a whole is not reflected in the membership of the Senate.
Gender of the U.S. Senate
Overall, there is a negligible difference between the number of men and women within the United States. Similarly, the breakdown of gender generationally (with the exception of the WWII Generation, which has a slightly larger gap) is almost a 50/50 split.
How much does the U.S. Senate reflect a gender balance?
Gender by Generation of the US Population
|Gender||Number of Senators|
Gender by Generation of the U.S. Senate
|Generation||Number of Men||Number of Women|
|Baby Boom Generation||48||17|
The U.S. Senate does not represent the nearly 50/50 population split between men and women in America. The gender balance in the Senate is heavily skewed with men holding a strong majority of the 100 seats. Women only account for 21% of the seats in the U.S. Senate.
Ethnicity of the U.S. Senate
The U.S. population features many different ethnicities and the Millennial Generation, in particular, is the most ethnically diverse generation.
How much does the U.S. Senate reflect the ethnic* diversity of the United States?
*The US Census considers race and ethnicity as separate and distinct concepts. Therefore, this graph depicts only the racial composition of the US population. Ethnicity reflects if a person is of Hispanic origin or not.
Ethnicity by Generation of the US Population
|Ethnicity||Number of Members|
|Two or More Races||0|
Ethnicity by Generation of the U.S. Senate
|Ethnicity||Millennial Generation||Generation-X||Baby Boom||Silent Generation|
While both Whites/Caucasians are a majority ethnicity both within the U.S. population and the U.S. Senate, the other ethnic groups are disproportionately represented. The ethnic breakdown of the U.S. Senate does not reflect the ethnic diversity of the population as a whole.