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Vital Statistics on Congress Data on the U.S. Congress – A Joint Effort from Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute

Editor's note: For the August 2014 edition, new data has been added to Chapters 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8 to account for the 1st Session of the 113th Congress.

For more than three decades, Vital Statistics on Congress, a joint effort undertaken by Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Tom Mann of Brookings, in collaboration with Michael Malbin of the Campaign Finance Institute, has been a go-to reference guide for Congressional watchers for impartial data on Congress and its members.

Vital Statistics’ purpose has always been to collect useful data on our first branch of government – in the election and composition of its membership as well as its formal procedure, such as the use of the filibuster, informal norms, party structure and staff. This dataset also documents the increasing polarization of Congress and the demographics of those who serve in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Over the years, we’ve received innumerable requests for updated versions of the chapters in between printings of the published book. We heard you and have now changed the way we present Vital Statistics’ data: We’ve put the book online, making each chapter available online as a collection of spreadsheets for download at no cost. This new interactive format allows us to update and correct the data more frequently and make it accessible to anyone interested in learning about Congress. We’ve formatted the tables so that each is both printer-friendly and read-writable. 

We encourage you to share your feedback and how you’ve used this dataset; and we plan on posting your most interesting findings. Find out how you can submit your own Vital Stats analyses »

Feel free to email us at vitalstatistics@brookings.edu if you have any questions, commentary or feedback.

 


Chapter 1: Demographics of Members of Congress

DemographicsWho are our members of Congress, what are their backgrounds, and from which part of the country do they come? This chapter provides data on apportionment, partisan makeup, and regional party representation of each Congress, as well as demographic information on members such as geographic origins, seniority status, prior occupations, religious affiliation and ethnicity.

Updated April 7, 2014 

  • 1-1 Apportionment of Congressional Seats, by Region and State, 1910-2010
  • 1-2 Democratic Party Strength in the House, by Region, 69th-113th Congresses, 1925-2014
  • 1-3 Democratic and Republican Seats in the House, by Region, 69th-113th Congresses, 1925-2014
  • 1-4 Democratic Party Strength in the Senate, by Region, 69th-113th Congresses, 1925-2014
  • 1-5 Democratic and Republican Seats in the Senate, by Region, 69th-113th Congresses, 1925-2014
  • 1-6 Seniority of Representatives, 1953 - 2014
  • 1-7 Seniority of Senators, 1953 - 2014
  • 1-8 Prior Occupations of Representatives, 83rd - 113th Congresses, 1953 - 2014
  • 1-9 Prior Occupations of Democratic Representatives, 83rd - 112th Congresses, 1953 - 2012
  • 1-10 Prior Occupations of Republican Representatives, 83rd - 112th Congresses, 1953 - 2012
  • 1-11 Prior Occupations of Senators, 83rd - 113th Congresses, 1953 - 2014
  • 1-12 Prior Occupations of Democratic Senators, 83rd - 112th Congresses, 1953 - 2012
  • 1-13 Prior Occupations of Republican Senators, 83rd - 112th Congresses, 1953 - 2012
  • 1-14 Religious Affiliations of Representatives, 89th - 113th Congresses, 1965 - 2014
  • 1-15 Religious Affiliations of Senators, 89th - 113th Congresses, 1965 - 2014
  • 1-16 African Americans in Congress, 41st - 113th Congresses, 1869 - 2014
  • 1-17 Asian Americans in Congress, 58th - 113th Congresses, 1903 - 2014
  • 1-18 Hispanic Americans in Congress, 41st - 113th Congresses, 1869 - 2014
  • 1-19 Women in Congress, 65th - 113th Congresses, 1917 - 2014
  • 1-20 Political Parties of Senators and Representatives, 34th - 113th Congresses, 1855 - 2014
PDF Download Chapter 1 in PDF »
Excel Download Chapter 1 in Excel »

 


Chapter 2: Congressional Elections

ElectionsChapter 2 offers information on the results of U.S. congressional elections, including re-election rates, seats that changed parties, elections won with significant majorities and those that were close. Data also compares the district-level vote for president and for the district’s Representative, and conditions of election for the 112th and 113th Congresses.

Updated April 7, 2014

  • 2-1 Turnout in Presidential and House Elections, 1930 - 2012
  • 2-2 Popular Vote and House Seats Won by Party, 1946 - 2012
  • 2-3 Net Party Gains in House and Senate Seats, General and Special Elections, 1946 - 2012
  • 2-4 Losses by the President's Party in Midterm Elections, 1862 - 2010
  • 2-5 House Seats That Changed Party, 1954 - 2012
  • 2-6 Senate Seats That Changed Party, 1954 - 2012
  • 2-7 House Incumbents Retired, Defeated, or Reelected, 1946 - 2012
  • 2-8 Senate Incumbents Retired, Defeated, or Reelected, 1946 - 2012
  • 2-9 House and Senate Retirements by Party, 1930 - 2012
  • 2-10 Defeated House Incumbents, 1946 - 2012
  • 2-11 Defeated Senate Incumbents, 1946 - 2012
  • 2-12 House Elections Won with 60 Percent of Major Party Vote, 1956 - 2012
  • 2-13 Senate Elections Won with 60 Percent of Major Party Vote, 1944 - 2008
  • 2-14 Marginal Races Among Members of the 113th Congress, 2012
  • 2-15 Conditions of Initial Election for Members of the 112th Congress, 2011, and 113th Congress, 2013
  • 2-16 Ticket Splitting between Presidential and House Candidates, 1900 - 2012
  • 2-17 District Voting for President and Representative, 1952 - 2012
  • 2-18 Shifts in Democratic Major Party Vote in Congressional Districts, 1956 - 2010
  • 2-19 Party-Line Voting in Presidential and Congressional Elections, 1956 - 2010
PDF Download Chapter 2 in PDF » 
Excel Download Chapter 2 in Excel »

 


Chapter 3: Campaign Finance in Congressional Elections

Campaign FinanceHow much money do successful congressional candidates spend to win a seat in the Senate or the House? Chapter 3 details campaign finance expenditures by members of Congress, as well as the spending habits of political action committees. The data was collected by Michael Malbin and his team at the Campaign Finance Institute. Data include the cost of winning an election by election cycle, how much incumbents spent on their re-election campaigns, and total funds raised by national party committees.

  • 3-1 The Cost of Winning an Election, 1986-2012
  • 3-2 House Campaign Expenditures, 1980-2012
  • 3-3 Exp. of House Inc. and Challengers, by Election Outcome, 1980-2012
  • 3-4 Expenditures for Open House Seats, by Election Outcome, 1984-2012
  • 3-5 Senate Campaign Expenditures, 1980-2012
  • 3-6 Expenditures of Senate Incumbents and Challengers, by Election Outcome, 1980-2012 3-7 Expenditures for Open Senate Seats, by Election Outcome, 1986-2012
  • 3-8 Campaign Funding Sources for House and Senate Candidates, 1984-2012
  • 3-9 Number of Registered Political Action Committees, 1974-2012
  • 3-10 PAC Contributions to Congressional Candidates 1978-2012
  • 3-11 How PACs Distributed Their Contributions to Congressional Candidates, 1978-2012
  • Political Party Contributions, Coordinated and Independent Expenditures for Congressional 3-12 Candidates, 1976-2012
  • 3-13 Hard and Soft Money Raised by National Party Committees, 1992-2012
  • 3-14 Non-Party Independent Expenditures in House and Senate Elections, 1978-2012
PDF Download Chapter 3 in PDF » 
Excel Download Chapter 3 in Excel »

 


Chapter 4: Congressional Committee Data

Committee DataChapter 4 explores the size and quantity of congressional committees in the House and the Senate. Data includes the type of committees active in each Congress, how many committees members of Congress have been assigned, and the majority chairmanships of congressional committees.

Updated Dec. 31, 2013

  • 4-1 Number of Committees in the Senate and House, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-2 Number and Type of House Committees, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-3 Number and Type of Senate Committees, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-4 Committee Assignments for Representatives, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-5 Committee Assignments for Senators, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-6 Majority Party Chairmanships of House Committees and Subcommittees, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-7 Majority Party Chairmanships of Senate Committees and Subcommittees, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
  • 4-8 Southern Chairmanships of House and Senate Standing Committees, 84th - 113th Congresses, 1955 - 2014
PDF Download Chapter 4 in PDF »
Excel Download Chapter 4 in Excel »

 


Chapter 5: Congressional Staff and Operating Expenses

ExpensesChapter 5 enumerates the size of congressional staff—for individual members as well as for committees—and the appropriations for member offices.
 

  • 5-1 Congressional Staff, 1979 - 2011
  • 5-2 Staffs of Members of the House and Senate, 1891 - 2010
  • 5-3 House Staff Based in District Offices, 1970 - 2010
  • 5-4 Senate Staff Based in State Offices, 1972 - 2010
  • 5-5 Staffs of House and Senate Standing Committees, 1891 - 2009
  • 5-6 Staffs of House Standing Committees, 1947 - 2009
  • 5-7 Staffs of Senate Standing Committees, 1947 - 2009
  • 5-8 Staffs of Congressional Support Agencies, FY1946 - FY2011
  • 5-9 Legislative Branch Appropriations and the Consumer Price Index, 1946 - 2011
  • 5-10 Legislative Branch Appropriations, by Category, FY1984 - FY2011
  • 5-11 Allowances for Representatives, 1977 - 2011
  • 5-12 Allowances for Senators, 1977 - 2011
PDF Download Chapter 5 in PDF »
Excel Download Chapter 5 in Excel »

 


Chapter 6: Legislative Productivity in Congress & Workload

WorkloadHow much has each Congress accomplished over the years, and how does the most recent Congress’ productivity compare to those of legislative bodies past? Chapter 6 reviews legislative productivity in the House and Senate over time, providing detailed data on number and length of bills passed, recorded votes in both chambers and the use of cloture motions in the Senate, among other data points.

Updated April 18, 2014

  • 6-1 House Workload, 80th - 113th Congresses, 1947 - 2013
  • 6-2 Senate Workload, 80th - 113th Congresses, 1947 - 2013
  • 6-3 Recorded Votes in the House and the Senate, 80th - 113th Congresses, 1947 - 2013
  • 6-4 Congressional Workload, 80th - 113th Congresses, 1947 - 2013
  • 6-5 Pages in the Federal Register , 1936 - 2013
  • 6-6 Vetoes and Overrides, 80th - 113th Congresses, 1947 - 2013
  • 6-7 Attempted and Successful Cloture Votes, 66th - 113th Congress, 1919 - 2013
PDF Download Chapter 6 in PDF »
Excel Download Chapter 6 in Excel »

 


Chapter 7: Congressional Action on the Federal Budget

Federal BudgetChapter 7’s tables provide insight into Congress’ work on the federal budget, including votes in both chambers on adopting budget resolutions and other budget-related measures, spending and appropriations, and the use of continuing resolutions to keep the government funded.

Updated April 23, 2014

  • 7-1 House Votes on Adoption of Budget Resolutions, by Party, FY1976-FY2014
  • 7-2 Senate Votes on Adoption of Budget Resolutions, by Party, FY1976-FY2014
  • 7-3 Budgeted and Actual Revenues, Budget Authority, Outlays, and Deficits, FY1976-FY2014
  • 7-4 Relatively Uncontrollable Federal Outlays under Present Law, FY1967-FY2011
  • 7-5 Supplemental Appropriations, FY1970-FY2013
  • 7-6 Continuing Appropriations, FY1977-FY2013
  • 7-7 Budget-Related Roll Call Votes in the House, Selected Years, 1955-2013
  • 7-8 Budget-Related Roll Call Votes in the Senate, Selected Years, 1955-2013
PDF Download Chapter 7 in PDF »
Excel Download Chapter 7 in Excel »

 


Chapter 8: Political Polarization in Congress and Changing Voting Alignments

Political PolarizationChapter 8 documents the rise in political polarization in Congress and trends in voting alignment. The data includes ideological scores for House and Senate party coalitions and committees, party unity votes and scores, and roll call votes on bills on which the president has taken an official position.

Updated April 18, 2014

  • 8-1 Presidential Victories on Votes in Congress, 1953-2013
  • 8-2 Congressional Voting in Support of the President's Position, 1954-2013
  • 8-3 Party Unity Votes in Congress, 1953-2013
  • 8-4 Party Unity Scores in Congressional Voting, 1954-2013
  • 8-5 Conservative Coalition Votes and Victories in Congress, 1957-2000
  • 8-6 Votes in Support of the Conservative Coalition, 1959-2000
  • 8-7 Average Ideological Positions of House Committees, 80th-112th Congresses
  • 8-8 Average Ideological Positions of Senate Committees, 80th-112th Congresses
  • 8-9 Average Ideological Positions of House Party Coalitions, 80th-113th Congresses, 1947-
  • 8-10 Average Ideological Positions of Senate Party Coalitions, 80th-113th Congresses, 1947-
PDF Download Chapter 8 in PDF »
Excel Download Chapter 8 in Excel »

 


Acknowledgements

The following individuals made recent contributions to Vital Statistics on Congress:

  • Jonathan Achard, intern
  • Clement Bilhorn, intern
  • Avram Billig, intern
  • Nick Davis, intern
  • Maraam Dwidar, intern
  • Elana Firsht, intern
  • Wylie Galvin, intern
  • Robyn Giannini, intern
  • Brendan Glavin, the Campaign Finance Institute
  • Daniel Guenther, intern
  • Lauren Hitt, intern
  • Chris Lin, intern
  • Kenneth Meyer, intern
  • Jane Makin, intern
  • Jennifer Marsico, the American Enterprise Institute
  • Jordan Miller, intern
  • Joshua Ng, intern
  • Michael Parrot, the Campaign Finance Institute
  • Cameron Petty, intern
  • James Pickens, intern
  • Molly Reynolds, the Brookings Institution
  • Timothy Ryan, the American Enterprise Institute
  • Brent Scher, intern
  • William Schultz, intern
  • Henrik Temp, intern
  • John Temp, intern
  • Matt Weil, the American Enterprise Institute
  • Tom Weingartner, intern
  • Min Yoo, intern

 

SERIES: Strengthening American Democracy | Number 4