The Mystery of the Great Congressional Youth Revolution

Evan Soltas is concerned about the graying of Congress:

Looking at these charts, I got curious about something. The age of Congress increases steadily from the beginning, just as you’d expect given lengthening lifespans. But then there’s a sudden drop in age from about 1958 through 1980. So what would Congress look like if there had been no decline and average age had continued to go up as it had for the previous 170 years? Like this:

We’re right where we ought to be. Life expectancy at age 30 has gone up about 15 years since 1789, and the average age of Congress has also gone up 15 years. So there’s no mystery there. The real question is, why was there a sudden drop over the 20-year period from 1958-1980? Perhaps something related to the World War II generation getting old enough to run for Congress? Followed up later by the post-Watergate congressional classes? Anybody got any other ideas?

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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