House Turnover

Hey there trivia fans. Quick: what is the median seniority of members of the United States House of Representatives? That would be January 3, 2003.

Only 164 of the 434 members have more than five terms of service under their belts. Only 17 current members were initialy elected in the 1970’s and only 37 were initially elected in the 1980’s. Of these 54 members, a half dozen have interruptions in their lengths of service for various reasons.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing is a question I leave up to you.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. So when they talk about the 93% incumbency rate or whatever it is, they’re talking about a different 7% every year? Or are these numbers more or less representative of not only the oughts, but the 90’s and the 80’s?

    • Evidence indicates that the aughts have seen a much higher amount of turnover than in any decade any of us are going to remember.

    • Re-election rates are improved by the fact that those that can read the tea leaves often jump out before they are pushed.

      • This, re-election rates don’t count the folks who don’t run again, either retirement, resignation or deciding to do something else.

  2. The House does seem to be a decent distribution of experience and adequate turnover. It’s the Senate where the median person has been there since Clinton was elected the first time, (which is not too bad) and was born when Hitler’s power was still ascendant (which is)

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