Chart of the Day: How Geriatric Is the US Senate?

Over at Vox, Harold Pollack writes about a problem: “very old politicians.” I was nodding along until I got to this sentence about the Senate:

In the body as a whole, 23 senators are at least 70. Seven are 80 or older.

This doesn’t seem all that old. So I got curious: how does the age distribution of the Senate compare to the country as a whole? Obviously there are no youngsters in the Senate, so we need to compare to a subset of the population. It’s very seldom that anyone becomes a senator before age 40, so here’s a comparison of the US Senate to the overall US population 40 and over:

It turns out the Senate looks a lot like America. The main difference is too few senators in their 40s and too many in their 60s. But the 70+ crowd is roughly the same as their distribution in the population.

Now, in the rest of the world, most of those folks who are over 70 are retired, and maybe a lot of these senators should be too. Still, they don’t look an awful lot different than a random group of over-40s plucked off a street corner.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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