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Mapped: The Age of U.S. Senators, by State

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Mapped: The Age of U.S. Senators, by State

Mapped: The Age of U.S. Senators, by State

The passing of California Senator Dianne Feinstein at the age of 90 is throwing a spotlight on America’s political establishment, not only with the government narrowly escaping shutdown, but on questions of ageism, representation, and fitness for office.

Feinstein had a noteworthy career. As the longest-running woman in the Senate’s history, she served the nation’s most populous state.

Yet Feinstein’s growing health complications along with two incidents of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell freezing while speaking this year highlight the growing trend of America’s aging leadership.

The above graphic shows the age of U.S. senators, by state as of October 5, 2023.

How the Age of U.S. Senators Breaks Down

Today, 66% of senators are over the age of 60.

While senators have historically been older than the American population, consider how the median age in the U.S. is 39 according to the 2020 U.S. Census, and the median age of the Senate prior to Feinstein’s passing was 65.

We can see in the below table how the Senate has become growingly older, influenced by longer lifespans and the increased likelihood of members running for re-election (and winning). In addition, members in the Baby Boomer generation, ages 58 to 77 years old, often have more resources and wealth to help secure their seat.

NameSenator AgeStateParty
Grassley, Chuck90IowaRepublican
Sanders, Bernard82VermontIndependent
McConnell, Mitch81KentuckyRepublican
Risch, James E.80IdahoRepublican
Cardin, Benjamin L.80MarylandDemocratic
King, Angus S., Jr.79MaineIndependent
Durbin, Richard J.78IllinoisDemocratic
Blumenthal, Richard77ConnecticutDemocratic
Markey, Edward J.77MassachusettsDemocratic
Carper, Thomas R.76DelawareDemocratic
Shaheen, Jeanne76New HampshireDemocratic
Welch, Peter76VermontDemocratic
Manchin, Joe, III76West VirginiaDemocratic
Romney, Mitt76UtahRepublican
Hirono, Mazie K.75HawaiiDemocratic
Warren, Elizabeth74MassachusettsDemocratic
Wyden, Ron74OregonDemocratic
Stabenow, Debbie73MichiganDemocratic
Reed, Jack73Rhode IslandDemocratic
Schumer, Charles E.72New YorkDemocratic
Murray, Patty72WashingtonDemocratic
Boozman, John72ArkansasRepublican
Crapo, Mike72IdahoRepublican
Wicker, Roger F.72MississippiRepublican
Fischer, Deb72NebraskaRepublican
Hickenlooper,
John W.
71ColoradoDemocratic
Kennedy, John71LouisianaRepublican
Blackburn, Marsha71TennesseeRepublican
Cornyn, John71TexasRepublican
Barrasso, John71WyomingRepublican
Brown, Sherrod70OhioDemocratic
Scott, Rick70FloridaRepublican
Collins, Susan M.70MaineRepublican
Menendez, Robert69New JerseyDemocratic
Tuberville, Tommy69AlabamaRepublican
Braun, Mike69IndianaRepublican
Moran, Jerry69KansasRepublican
Capito,
Shelley Moore
69West VirginiaRepublican
Lummis, Cynthia M.69WyomingRepublican
Warner, Mark R.68VirginiaDemocratic
Graham, Lindsey68South CarolinaRepublican
Rounds, Mike68South DakotaRepublican
Johnson, Ron68WisconsinRepublican
Tester, Jon67MontanaDemocratic
Whitehouse, Sheldon67Rhode IslandDemocratic
Rosen, Jacky66NevadaDemocratic
Merkley, Jeff66OregonDemocratic
Murkowski, Lisa66AlaskaRepublican
Hoeven, John66North DakotaRepublican
Cassidy, Bill66LouisianaRepublican
Smith, Tina65MinnesotaDemocratic
Hassan,
Margaret Wood
65New HampshireDemocratic
Kaine, Tim65VirginiaDemocratic
Van Hollen, Chris64MarylandDemocratic
Peters, Gary C.64MichiganDemocratic
Cantwell, Maria64WashingtonDemocratic
Hyde-Smith, Cindy64MississippiRepublican
Hagerty, Bill64TennesseeRepublican
Klobuchar, Amy63MinnesotaDemocratic
Casey,
Robert P., Jr.
63PennsylvaniaDemocratic
Marshall, Roger63KansasRepublican
Tillis, Thom63North CarolinaRepublican
Cramer, Kevin62North DakotaRepublican
Thune, John62South DakotaRepublican
Baldwin, Tammy61WisconsinDemocratic
Daines, Steve61MontanaRepublican
Coons,
Christopher A.
60DelawareDemocratic
Paul, Rand60KentuckyRepublican
Kelly, Mark59ArizonaDemocratic
Cortez Masto,
Catherine
59NevadaDemocratic
Ricketts, Pete59NebraskaRepublican
Bennet, Michael F.58ColoradoDemocratic
Sullivan, Dan58AlaskaRepublican
Scott, Tim58South CarolinaRepublican
Gillibrand, Kirsten E.56New YorkDemocratic
Duckworth, Tammy55IllinoisDemocratic
Lankford, James55OklahomaRepublican
Warnock,
Raphael G.
54GeorgiaDemocratic
Booker, Cory A.54New JerseyDemocratic
Fetterman, John54PennsylvaniaDemocratic
Ernst, Joni53IowaRepublican
Rubio, Marco52FloridaRepublican
Cruz, Ted52TexasRepublican
Lee, Mike52UtahRepublican
Heinrich, Martin51New MexicoDemocratic
Luján, Ben Ray51New MexicoDemocratic
Young, Todd51IndianaRepublican
Budd, Ted51North CarolinaRepublican
Padilla, Alex50CaliforniaDemocratic
Murphy, Christopher50ConnecticutDemocratic
Schatz, Brian50HawaiiDemocratic
Schmitt, Eric48MissouriRepublican
Sinema, Kyrsten47ArizonaIndependent
Cotton, Tom46ArkansasRepublican
Mullin, Markwayne46OklahomaRepublican
Laphonza Butler44CaliforniaDemocratic
Hawley, Josh43MissouriRepublican
Britt, Katie Boyd41AlabamaRepublican
Vance, J.D.39OhioRepublican
Ossoff, Jon36GeorgiaDemocratic

On the other end of the spectrum are nine senators under the age of 50, including Democrat Jon Ossoff of Georgia, at 36, and Republican senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, at 39. Laphonza Butler, 44, the newly appointed senator to replace Feinstein, also falls within this camp.

This trend of an older Senate may have policy ramifications.

Studies show that lawmakers’ identities can influence legislative behavior. Older members of Congress have been shown to have a higher likelihood of introducing legislation on prescription drugs and long-term care, and other issues affecting seniors.

Other studies show that racial minorities, women, and veterans are more likely to intervene in Congress in the interest of these groups.

Top U.S. Senators, by Time in Office

Along with the trend of an older Congress, the average number of years served has also increased.

Today, senators in the 118th Congress have served 11.2 years on average as of January 2023. Over the 20th century, turnover has decreased due to more senators seeking re-election, which stands in contrast to the Senate’s early history when turnover happened more frequently.

Below, we show the currently serving senators that have held office the longest, based on their time in both the Senate and the House:

NameStatePartyNumber of Years in Office
Grassley, ChuckIowaRepublican48 years
Markey, EdMassachusettsDemocrat46 years
Wyden, RonOregonDemocrat42 years
Schumer, Charles E.New YorkDemocrat42 years
McConnell, MitchKentuckyRepublican38 years

Together, the top five U.S. senators have served a combined 216 years in office.

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War

Visualized: Top 15 Global Tank Fleets

Heavily armed and armored, the modern tank is a versatile and mobile weapons platform, and a critical piece of contemporary warfare. 

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Teaser image for an dot matrix chart of the top 15 global tank fleets, broken down by main battle tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and storage, showing that the U.S. is number one, by a wide margin.

The Top 15 Global Tank Fleets

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Heavily armed and armored, the modern tank is a versatile and mobile weapons platform, and a critical piece of contemporary warfare.

This visualization shows the top 15 global tank fleets, using data from the 2024 Military Balance report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Let’s take an in-depth look at the top three fleets:

1. United States

As the world’s pre-eminent military power, it’s perhaps no surprise that the United States also has the largest tank fleet, by a wide margin.

In total, they have just over 45,000 armored fighting vehicles in operation, along with 2,640 main battle tanks (MBTs), and 12,800 vehicles in storage, of which 2,000 are main battle tanks.

CategoryVehiclesGlobal rank
Main battle tanks2,6404
Armored reconnaissance1,7451
Infantry fighting vehicles3,2623
Armored personnel carriers10,6441
Amphibious assault vehicles1,4011
Armored utility vehicles28,4451
Storage12,8001
Total60,9371

The U.S. is internalizing the lessons from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, where Western-supplied anti-tank weapons and massed Ukrainian artillery have been cutting Russian tanks to pieces. As a result, the U.S. recently canceled an upgrade of the M1 Abrams in favor of a more ambitious upgrade.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is nervously eyeing a more confident China and a potential clash over Taiwan, where air and naval forces will be critical. However, a recent war game showed that Taiwanese mechanized ground forces, kitted out with American-made tanks and armored fighting vehicles, were critical in keeping the island autonomous.

2. Russia

According to Oryx, a Dutch open-source intelligence defense website, at time of writing, Russia has lost almost 2,800 main battle tanks since invading Ukraine. Considering that in the 2022 edition of the Military Balance, Russia was estimated to have 2,927 MBTs in operation, those are some hefty losses.

Russia has been able to maintain about 2,000 MBTs in the field, in part, by increasing domestic production. Many defense plants have been taken over by state-owned Rostec and now operate around the clock. Russia is also now spending a full third of their budget on defense, equivalent to about 7.5% of GDP.

At the same time, they’ve also been drawing down their Soviet-era stockpiles, which are modernized before being sent to the front. Just how long they can keep this up is an open question; their stockpiles are large, but not limitless. Here is what their storage levels look like:

Category20232024YOY change
Main battle tanks5,0004,000-20.0%
Armored reconnaissance1,000100-90.0%
Infantry fighting vehicles4,0002,800-30.0%
Armored personnel carriers6,0002,300-61.7%
Total16,0009,200-42.5%

3. China

China holds the third overall spot and top place globally for the number of main battle tanks in operation. Untypically, the People’s Liberation Army has no armored vehicles in storage, which perhaps isn’t surprising when you consider that China has been rapidly modernizing its military and that stockpiles usually contain older models.

China also has one of the world’s largest fleets of armored fighting vehicles, second only to the United States. Breaking down that headline number, we can also see that they have the largest number of light tanks, wheeled guns, and infantry fighting vehicles. 

CategoryVehiclesGlobal rank
Main battle tanks4,7001
Light tanks1,3301
Wheeled guns1,2501
Infantry fighting vehicles8,2001
Armored personnel carriers3,6045
Airborne combat vehicles1802
Amphibious assault vehicles9902
Total20,2543

This is equipment that would be integral if China were to make an attempt to reunify Taiwan with the mainland by force, where lightly armored mechanized units need to move with speed to occupy the island before Western allies can enter the fray. It’s worth noting that China also has one of the world’s largest fleets of amphibious assault vehicles.

End of the Tank?

Many commentators at the outset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, were quick to predict the end of the tank, however, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the tank’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

With the U.S. and China both developing remote and autonomous armored vehicles, tanks could be quite different in the future, but there is nothing else that matches them for firepower, mobility, and survivability on the modern battlefield today.

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