By the numbers

The congressional millionaires' club: By the numbers

How rich is Congress? Well, the class of freshmen members is alone worth more than $500 million

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:

96 Number of new House members in the 112th Congress

40 percentApproximate share of House freshmen who are millionaires

16Number of new senators in the 112th Congress

60 percentShare of Senate freshmen who are millionaires

1 percentApproximate share of ordinary Americans who are millionaires

$3.96 millionMedian estimated wealth of a Senate freshman

$570,418Median estimated wealth of a House freshman

$25,149Median estimated wealth of an American over the age of 18 (2005)

$533.1 millionThe estimated combined worth of the full freshman class of the 112th Congress

$95 millionEstimated 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.

-$317,498Estimated 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."

17Number 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 millionAmount of money collectively invested in Citibank by freshman lawmakers

261 Number of millionaires in the last Congress, out of a total of 535 members

$911,510Median wealth of all members in the last Congress

$303.5 millionEstimated 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

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