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Vital Statistics on Congress Data on the U.S. Congress, Updated March 2019

Brookings: “Vital Statistics on Congress, first published in 1980, long ago became the go-to source of impartial data on the United States Congress. Vital Statistics’ purpose is to collect and provide useful data on America’s first branch of government, including data on the composition of its membership, its formal procedure (such as the use of the filibuster), informal norms, party structure, and staff. With some chapters of data dating back nearly 100 years, Vital Statistics also documents how Congress has changed over time, illustrating, for example, the increasing polarization of Congress and the diversifying demographics of those who are elected to serve. Click here to access the Vital Statistics data tables »

Whether you are new to Vital Statistics or an old Vital Statistics hand, here are a few things to know about the most recent update:

  • Each individual chapter and table is available for download below at no cost.
  • Each table is available in several formats, including—for the first time—as .csv files oriented in long, rather than wide, format. (The long format files do not contain the same source and methodological note information as the .xlsx and .pdf formats, so we strongly encourage you to download one other file format as well before using the data.)
  • As we’ve worked to update the data, we’ve made some changes to information from earlier years in order to correct coding errors and align methodology. A list of these changes are included in this document, and individual tables include a note indicating when earlier data was changed…”

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