Painting of Congress - Modern

117th Congress – Civic Literacy

Civic literacy takes work. When taking the test to become an American citizen, applicants are expected to demonstrate a basic knowledge of American history and of how the US government is structured. 128 questions and answers covering government and history are included in the study guide for new immigrants. They range from basic to tricky and include knowledge of current affairs and positions in government today. Would you pass the citizens’ test to become an American? Test yourself by clicking on the
Citizenship Test Questions

House of Representatives – 435 House Members: Members of the house represent their constituents in proportion to each state’s population. As of May 2021 there are 220 Democrats, 211 Republicans and 4 vacant seats.

6 Delegates (part of the House): These non-voting members of the House represent The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianna Islands, the US Virgin Islands and a resident commissioner represents Puerto Rico.

The Senate – 100 Senators: Each state is represented by 2 Senators, independently of size and population. The Senate has 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats.


Gender Statistic of women and men in Congress

Four Months and 4000 Jobs. Four months into the new administration, most voters are still getting used to new names and positions as they are being selected and appointed. Every presidential administration has about 4,000 positions to fill.

This is a snap shot of what the current Congress looks like from a demographical view point:

  • The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 117th Congress was 58.4 years; of Senators, 64.3 years.
  • Education: The overwhelming majority, 96%, of Members of Congress have a college education.
  • Profession: The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law.
  • Religion: Most Members identify as Christians, and the collective majority of these affiliate with a Protestant denomination. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented, including Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostal Christian, Unitarian Universalist, and Adventist.
  • Length of Service: The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 117th Congress was 8.9 years (4.5 House terms); for Senators, 11.0 years (1.8 Senate terms).
  • Record Number of Women: One hundred forty-six women serve in the 117th Congress: 122 in the House, including 3 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, and 24 in the Senate, adding up to around 27% of women in Congress. That represents a 50% increase from the 96 women who were serving in the 112th Congress a decade ago, but remains roughly 50% below the female share of the overall US population.
  • African American, about 13% of the population: There are 57 African American Members of the House and 3 in the Senate. This House number includes two Delegates.
  • Hispanic or Latino – 4% of the population: There are 54 Hispanic or Latino Members (a record number) serving: 47 in the House, including 2 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, and 7 in the Senate..
  • Asian Americans – about 7% of the population: There are 21 Members (16 Representatives, 3 Delegates, and 2 Senators) who are Asian Americans or Pacific Islander Americans.
  • A record 5 Native Americans (American Indians or Native Hawaiians) – about 2 % of the population, serve in the House.


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