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The 118th Congress is the third oldest since 1789

The average age of Congress has been climbing since the early 1980s.
The first day of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber  on Jan. 3, 2023.
The first day of the 118th Congress in the House chamber on Tuesday. The average age of a U.S. representative is about 57.5 years, down from 58.2 years in the 117th Congress in 2021.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Congress did not get older this year.

But don’t call it young. 

The 118th Congress enters Capitol Hill as one of the oldest in the past century, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the @unitedstates project, a group of journalists and researchers who track historical and current Congress-related information. In fact, of all of the Congresses since 1789, this is the second-oldest Senate and the third-oldest House.

As of Tuesday, the average age in the Senate is 63.9 years. In the House, it’s 57.5 years.

The average age of the 118th Congress is half a year younger than the 117th. But historical data shows this is an anomaly, as both the Senate and the House have aged significantly in the past four decades: the Senate by about 12 years, and the House by 9 years. By comparison, the median age in the U.S. has increased nearly 9 years since 1980.

Representatives must be at least 25 years old when they take office and senators, 30 years old.

The youngest known representative of the current Congress is 25-year-old Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., followed by 33-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. The oldest known representative, Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., is 86 years old. In the Senate, 89-year-old Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is the oldest and Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., 35, is the youngest.

The median age in the United States is 38.8 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.