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Generational Analysis of Congress
#1
Long time lurker here, but 2 years ago I did an analysis of the generational trends of Congress based on birth year of the members.  I could have sworn I posted it here, but can't find it now.  I just updated it for the new 116th Congress with some comparison to the 115th.  Since I can't find the old version, I'll include the 115th analysis in a reply  for comparison as well.

116th Congress:


House:



Silent: Mostly Democrat building to a +15 advantage out of 20 members (Maintaining a +15 advantage even though the generation lost 3 members from 23 in the 115th)



Boomer: A slight Republican advantage to +3 in the 1943 birth year, but then rapidly swinging Democrat, peaking at a +34 Democrat advantage in the 1953 birth year (in the 115th there were 131 members in this cohort compared to 110 in the 116th). Republicans then pare this back, but never gain the advantage, to a +17 Democrat advantage out of 197 members. (Compared to the 115th, the Democrats peak a year later and with a substantial increase in their advantage (previously peak was at 1952 @ +22). Democrats completely reversed Republican strength in the later part of the generation shifting from a generational net +16 R in the 115th to the +17 D in the 116th. The number of members of late wave Boomers decreased from 95 in the 115th to 87 in the 116th; over all the generation lost 29 members from the 226 members in the 115th)



Gen X: A slight Democrat advantage in the 1961 birth year quickly swings to a Republican peak of +8 in the 1965 birth year with Democrats than paring it back in the 1966 and 1969 birth years but never gaining the advantage. Republicans then peak again in 1973 and then there is a clear swing to Democrats through the rest of the generation, ending at a Democrat overall advantage for the generation at +1 out of 192 members. (Compared to the 115th, Democrats completely reversed a +40 Republican advantage. The generation gained 15 members overall)



Millennial: The 1982-1984 birth years show a lot of chop, with the Republicans never quiet gaining an advantage, however in 1986 there is a clear swing to the Democrats ending at a +5 Democrat advantage out of 23 members by the 1989 birth year. (Compared to the 115th, the generation gained 18 members with a shift from previously being +4 Republican (not statistically significant due to low numbers) )



In the 115th there was a clear generational turning point from Democrat to Republican in 1958, which has now been obliterated. Democrats have a very heavy advantage in the Silents and early wave Boomers. Republicans lost heavily in the late wave Boomers and Xers in general, especially late wave. Democrats now have at least a marginal advantage in all 4 generations. We also see a clear generational movement of representation from the Silents and Boomers to the Xers and Millennials.



Senate:



Silent: Mostly Republican building to a +3 out of 9 Senators (Compared to the 115th Senate, this is decrease of 4 Senators and a net decrease of 2 from a +5 advantage for Republicans)



Boomer: Starts off a bit mixed but quickly goes to a Democrat advantage of +10 in the 1950 birth year (consistent with 115th Congress, though a net drop of 1 from the +11 Democrats had. The number of Senators in this age group increased by 1 to 23 from the 22 in the 115th). After that Republicans gain two peaks of +3 in the 1955 and 1957 Birth Years, finally ending at a Democrat advantage of +3 out of 61 Senators. (Compared with the 115th where Republicans were never in the advantage and which ended with the Democrats +6 out of 56, there are 38 Senators in this age group in the 116th and 34 in the 115th)



Gen X: Starts off with a Republican swing in the early years with a Republican peak of +4 in early 1963, After that you get some chop with Democrats paring back the advantage but never gaining it themselves through the 1969 birth year. After that there is a pronounced swing to Republicans with the Republicans ending at +6 out of 30. (Compared to the 115th where there was no clear advantage through 1969 and then a swing to Republicans at a +5 out of 31. This generation lost a seat, and became +1 more Republican)



Millennial: N/A



In terms of generational trends, The Democrats have a very heavy strength in the early Boomer years and parity in the mid Xer years. The Republicans are very strong in the Silents and late stage Xers, while gaining strength in the later Boomer years compared to the 115th. The Boomers gained strength at the expense of the other 2 generations, particularly the late wave Boomers at the expense of the Silents. The generational boundaries show very abrupt and clear swings in political leanings.



Conclusions:



Democrat strength is still very much anchored by the early wave Boomers in both houses. Republicans seem to be strongest with Xers, particularly early wave Xers. Silents are still split in their preferences between the House and the Senate. As previously, I suspect the relatively small Boomer advantage flipping almost equally from +16 R in the 115th to +17 D in the 116th reflects that we still lack a consensus on the new model that should come out of the crisis if Strauss & Howe are accurate. What the collapse of support the Republicans had in the House Xers portends will be interesting to see. I suspect it reflects some generational house cleaning on the part of the Xers due to the ineffectiveness of Congress, which provides some warning to both parties as Xers could pragmatically decide to do more House cleaning in the next cycle if they don't see Congress doing it's job.



While the House is shifting from the older generations to the younger as expected, it was interesting to see how Boomers gained in the Senate, even at the marginal expense of the Xers. In the House, on the other hand, Xers now almost match Boomers in representation. 
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#2
Here is the analysis of the 115th Congress:

115th Congress:


House:


Silent: Mostly Democrat, building to a +15 advantage out of 23 members

Boomer: Starts off heavily democrat, building to a high of a +22 advantage by the 1952 birth year, after that Republicans slowly gain strength with a turn over in the 1958 birth year and ending with a Republican advantage of +16 out of 226

Gen X: Heavily Republican dominated with the generation ending at a +40 advantage for the Republicans out of 177 members.


Millennial: Too small a cohort in the House to be statistically significant, but 4 out of the 5 are Republican.


You can very plainly see the generational lines politically at play with an obvious tipping point in 1958.


Senate:



Silent: Mostly Republican, building to a +5 advantage out of 13 Senators

Boomer: Starts off heavily Democrat, building to a high of a +11 advantage by the 1950 birth year, after that Republicans pare back the advantage but never gain a turn-over.  The generation ends with a Democrat advantage of +6 out of 56 Senators

Gen X: Splits evenly between the parties until the 1969 birth year, then swings to a Republican advantage of +5 out of 31 Senators.

Millennials: N/A.

The generational trends here are fascinating.  The Republicans have a strong lock on the Silents with an abrupt swing to the Democrats as soon as you start the Boomer generation.  The Democrats then hold the advantage until the 1950 birth year, after which the Republicans gain enough strength to bring the generational representation into rough parity until 1969.  After that, Republicans gain a small advantage in the late stage Gen-X.


Conclusions:

Both houses seem to show clear swings from one extreme in representation to another along generational lines.  In the House, this is strikingly clear with a move from extreme Democrat membership in the eldest members, a cross over in 1958 leading to a strong Republican position in the younger generations.  In the Senate, this process seems to be offset from the House, with an extreme Republican representation in the silents, leading to an abrupt shift to Democrats in the 1943 birth year, culminating in a Democrat peak in 1950.  Afterwards Republican balance Democrat strength until the 1969 birth year, after which we see another swing to Republican strength.

In each houses, the Silents and Gen X are showing clear preferences generationally, though the split between the House and Senate Silents on which party they prefer is fascinating.  The largest cohort in both houses, the Boomers, seems to display a lack of consensus with relatively small representational advantages compared to their size.  In both houses, the Boomers lean to the Democrats, though Republicans seem to check this with the 1950-1952 cohorts.   I suspect this lack of consensus among the Boomers is reflecting the fact that the country has not yet developed the consensus on the new model predicted in Generations and the Fourth Turning.

The 10 year difference in turn over dates from Democrat strength to Republican strength (House: 1958, Senate 1969) is another interesting difference which provokes speculation.
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#3
Thanks for the info.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
Thanks too - although it'd be even better as a bar diagram.
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