Old Congress, Young You

AP U.S. Old Government and Politics

What is the average age of a member of the U.S. Congress?

AP US Government and Politics    GoPo Pro

AP US Government and Politics

GoPo Pro

  1. How wrong was your prediction?

  2. What trend do you see in the data?

  3. Why do you think Congress is getting so much older?

  4. What is one consequence of having such an old Congress?

  5. Would you want your grandparents or family members of age 60 and up to represent you in Congress?

  6. What are some mechanisms of how elections and parties work that might explain why Congress is so old?

  7. How do you think the age of Congress impacts gun legislation? How different do you think Congress' age would have been at the founding of our nation?

  8. What do do you think is one policy issue that Congress' old age might actually help it tackle?

  9. What is one policy issue that Congress' age might hurt its ability to legislate?

  10. Is this all good news or bad news?

  11. What is the average age of an American?*

  12. If there was a Silver Alert (missing senior) in Congress, how would the Capitol Police know which Congressperson to help????!

  13. What would be some immediate policy changes if the average age of Congress was suddenly equal to that of America = 37.9?

  14. There are age minimum requirements for Congress! What are those age requirements for the House and the Senate?**

  15. How likely is it that Congress will lower its age average requirement?

  16. Why don't we have age maximums?

  17. How different do you think American politics would be if we had 12 year term limits?

  18. Are you surprised that Democrats are older than Republicans?

  19. What do you think is the average age of new members of Congress?***

*37.9 years!

**House = 25; Senate = 30 years!

***Visual Extension


Learning Extension

Read this 538 article about the aging of Congress?

Action Extension

My U.S. House Representative is 74 years young. Contact your Congressional Representative or Senator and ask them how their age impacts how they legislate. If they are young use email. If they are old send a carrier pigeon. Share your correspondence in class or online.


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