Copyright

How Congress Represents the American Public: Demographic Makeup Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The State Court System of the United States: Definition & Structure

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 The Makeup of Congress
  • 1:00 Age, Gender and Race
  • 2:30 Party Makeup
  • 3:13 Education and Religion
  • 4:11 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Williams

Jennifer has taught various courses in U.S. Government, Criminal Law, Business, Public Administration and Ethics and has an MPA and a JD.

In this lesson, we will review how the 113th United States Congress represents the demographics of the American people. We will take a closer look at the demographic makeup of Congress and how it relates to those representations in the population.

The Makeup of Congress

As of December 27, 2014, the United States of America has a population of 320,064,285 people. This includes individuals from each of the 50 states and territories. This number does not include those that have immigrated illegally to the country. Representatives are elected from the United States citizenry to represent the people in Congress.

The United States Congress is the national federal legislative body of the United States of America. The main job of Congress is to make the laws for the United States that affect our everyday lives and protect our rights. There are 541 individuals in Congress that come from each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the District of Columbia.

Let's look at the general makeup of Congress based on different characteristics.

Age, Gender and Race

The United States Census defines white people as those having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. Whites are the majority of the U.S. population - about 72%. African-Americans make up approximately 13% of the population, followed by 5% Asian-American and 1% American Indian.

There is a disparity in these population numbers when compared with those elected to the U.S. Congress. As of 2014, in the House, there are 43 African-Americans, 33 Hispanics, 10 Asian-Americans and 2 American Indians. The remaining 352 individuals are white. In The Senate, there are two African-Americans, four Hispanics, one Asian-American and zero American Indians. The remaining 91 individuals are white.

The disparity in numbers holds true with gender and age, as well. There are 158.6 million females in the United States. Eighty-three women serve in the House and twenty in the Senate. The median age of the citizens in the United States is 36.8 years old. The average age of the members of the House at the beginning of the 113th Congress was 57 years old. The average age of Senators was 62 years old.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support