Members of Congress better off than most Americans, but die sooner

The 113th Congress that took office the first week of January is more diverse than ever, but it's still older, whiter, more male, richer and better-educated than the rest of America.

Those findings are courtesy of Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council.

In fact, Congress outscores the people it represents in every measure of well-being, but one: life expectancy. The average lifespan for a U.S. citizen today is 78.9 years. Average congressional lifespan is 77.3 years. Is it the stress of the job? (Actually one major reason this number has been pulled down is that only about 18 percent of senators and representatives are women, and women live longer than men.)

Check out the fascinating graphic at the link above. My favorite stat: 0.6 percent of the U.S. population is comprised of lawyers. In Congress? 41 percent. (actually, that seems low.)


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