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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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