Politics

There are almost five times as many millennials in the House than last session

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 3: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) swears in House members during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol January 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Under the cloud of a partial federal government shutdown, Pelosi reclaimed her former title as speaker and her fellow Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the second time in eight years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) swore in House members during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 3.

The 116th Congress is underway and among the 431 congressmembers are 26 millennial representatives, almost five times as many as there were last session.

The Pew Research Center defines the millennial generation as anyone born between the years 1981 and 1996 and estimated there approximately 71 million millennials in America as of 2016.

Congressmembers must be at least 25 years old.

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Before the newly elected members were sworn in there were only six millennial representatives in the House, including Congressman Connor Lamb, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, who won a special election in the spring of 2018.

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, is the longest serving millennial representative; she was elected in 2013.

There are no millennials currently in the Senate.

According to Pew Research Center data on the demographics of the 116th Congress, the millennial population in the House increase from 1.1 percent to 6 percent; the largest increase of the 2018 election.

Millennials also make up more than a fifth of the newly elected class of representatives and they are breaking other records besides being the largest group of their generation:

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• Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, is the youngest woman elected to Congress at the age of 29.

• Lauren Underwood, 32, a Democrat from Illinois, is the youngest black woman elected to Congress.

• Xochitl Torres Small, 34, is the first woman and Latina to represent her district in New Mexico.

• Ilhan Omar, 37, is the first Somali-American elected to Congress and one of the first Muslim-Americans to serve in the House.

Abbi Matheson can be reached at abbi.matheson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AbbiMatheson