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Frey Figure 1
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Charts of the week: The new Congress, population growth slowdown

A selection of charts, graphs, or maps from Brookings experts’ research.

MOST EDUCATED, LEAST POLITICALLY EXPERIENCED CONGRESS

Writing one of a series of FixGov blog posts about Congress in 2019, authors Casey Burgat and Charles Hunt observe that “the incoming freshman class is notable not just because of their demographics, but also because of the types of experience and expertise they’re bringing to Congress.” It is the most educated Congress, with 72 percent of the House possessing a graduate degree, but has the fewest number of new members with state- or local-level political experience.

Chart showing a dip in prior elected experience in 116th Congress and a rise in educational attainment.

CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW CONGRESS

In another post for the Congress in 2019 series, Senior Fellow Elaine Kamarck reviews two recent papers on the economic divide in America. She writes that the “new Democratic Congress needs to continue to protect the social safety net and perhaps patch some of the holes in it. But they can’t build themselves back into a majority party unless they work to help the people who are stuck in the places left behind.”

Visit the entire series here.

Figure 3: Employment by community type size

 

LOWEST US POPULATION GROWTH SINCE 1937

Senior Fellow William Frey reviews new Census estimates on population change that show the national rate of population growth last year of 0.62 percent is the lowest it’s been since 1937. “While some of these downward demographic trends reflect the delayed impact of the Great Recession,” Frey writes, “the aging American population is the broader cause, a factor that the nation will have to cope with for years and decades to come.”

Figure 1 U.S. annual population growth

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