Friday, 5 February 2010

Age Discrimination?

It's a commonly heard comment today - that the political world is getting younger. Once the House of Commons had its contingents of retired trade unionists; or those who had made their money and had chosen to spend their declining years in a safe seat. That seems to be changing - as the list of prospective parliamentary candidates contains so many "fresh faced youths". Emily Benn (from a well established political family - her uncle is Hilary Benn; her grandfather Tony Benn; and her political family tree goes back to two of her great grandfathers) - will be 20 when the election comes. She is the Labour Party's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in East Worthing and Shoreham. In Hemsworth the Liberal Democrats have selected an even younger candidate, Alan Belmore.

Perhaps I'm listening to too many older people. In fact in recent years the US Congress has been getting older!

Statistics produced by the Congressional Research Service show the average age of members at the beginning of each Congress. In 1983 the average age was 47.0 - at the start of the 111th Congress (just a year ago) the average had risen to 58.2 years, making this the oldest Congress on record.

Detailed figures - and graphs for the whole of Congressional History can be accessed here.

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