Millennials Can’t Crack Congress

By Dave MerrillDave Merrill and Yvette Romero
November 10, 2016

In 2016, millennials surpassed baby boomers as the nation's largest living generation. Yet for all that voting power, millennials are still woefully under-represented in Washington. Donald Trump just replaced Ronald Reagan as the oldest elected president in history, and in the new Congress, baby boomers will outnumber millennials 50 to one.

The House would look like this if it matched America's generational divide
About a third of millennials (age 19-35 years) aren't old enough to run for the House, since you need to be at least 25 years old to hold office. But if the 435 members of the House were apportioned to match the generational divide of everyone who meets the age requirement, millennials would hold 97 seats, about a quarter of the chamber.
Instead, this is the age-breakdown of Congress
Only five millennials were elected Tuesday, up from three in the last Congress. In Senate races, both millennial candidates, Patrick Murphy, 33, of Florida and Jason Kander, 35, of Missouri, lost bids to become the nation's first millennial senators. Among the age groups, generation X made the biggest House gain, picking up 11 more seats than it held in the previous Congress. Baby boomers continue to control a majority of the 435 seats.
Congress may be slow to look like the rest of AmericaDespite an approval rate hovering at about 15 percent, Congress remains a mostly static body that re-elects incumbents 95 percent of the time. This is one reason why House members are disproportionately older—the median age is 58 years—than the voters they represent.