Although this year's House freshmen are sharply divided by ideology, they are united by one striking measure: Many of them are filthy rich. The Center for Responsive Politics found that 60 percent of Senate freshmen and 40 percent of House freshmen were worth $1 million or more. The statistics prove that Congress is populated "overwhelmingly with millionaires and near-millionaires who often own multiple homes," says Dan Eggen at The Washington Post. Here, a look at the numbers behind the congressional millionaires' club:
Number of new House members in the 112th Congress
Approximate share of House freshmen who are millionaires
Number of new senators in the 112th Congress
Share of Senate freshmen who are millionaires
Approximate share of ordinary Americans who are millionaires
Median estimated wealth of a Senate freshman
Median estimated wealth of a House freshman
Median estimated wealth of an American over the age of 18 (2005)
The estimated combined worth of the full freshman class of the 112th Congress
Estimated personal wealth of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the richest freshman. His wealth comes mainly from his wife's family, whose real estate holdings reportedly include the Empire State Building.
Estimated net worth of the poorest freshman lawmaker, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). Walsh, who lost his condo to foreclosure in 2009, is the only freshman in the red. He calls this a "badge of honor."
Number of freshmen who own stock in General Electric. Eleven invest in Bank of America, while 9 freshmen each invested in AT&T, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble.
Between $1 million and $5 million
Amount of money collectively invested in Citibank by freshman lawmakers
Number of millionaires in the last Congress, out of a total of 535 members
Median wealth of all members in the last Congress
Estimated wealth of the richest member of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), in 2009
Sources: OpenSecrets.org (2), Washington Post, CNBC, Politico, U.S. Census
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Ban PowerPoint!
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week