Increasing Cognitive Challenges Impact One of the Oldest Congressional Bodies in History

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The average age of Congress is at its highest ever, with the Senate having the highest median age in US history at 65. The House of Representatives also has a median age of 59. The breakdown by generations shows that 48% of Congress members are baby boomers, 33% are from Generation X, 12% are millennials, 6% are from the Silent Generation, and less than 1% are from Generation Z. Despite having one of the youngest freshman classes in decades, with 18 members under 40, the presence of long-time career politicians brings up the average age. Term limits are not seriously considered as many lawmakers are favored for reelection due to their resources, base, and popularity. This raises concerns about the cognitive decline and effectiveness of older members, with questions being raised about President Joe Biden’s cognitive decline and incidents of confusion from other senior politicians such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The aging demographic of Congress underscores the need for younger voices and new perspectives in the political landscape.

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