How Many Jews Are in Congress?
In "Faith on the Hill," the Pew Research Center shares analysis of the religious composition of politicians in the 115th Congress. It's big news for Jews: The 115th Congress's freshman class boasts the largest percentage of Jewish members in recorded history, at 8%; in the 114th Congress, just 1% of freshmen members were Jews.
Though Jews make up just 2% of the U.S. population, they account for 6% of Congress. Protestants and Catholics, too, are overrepresented in Congress, proportional to their makeup in the population, but other groups – including Buddhists, Mormons, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians – are represented proportionally.
The group most notably underrepresented in Congress is the religiously unaffiliated. Sometimes known as "the nones," these individuals make up 23% of the general public but just 0.2% of Congress. Though 10 members of Congress decline to state their religious affiliation, just one member of Congress, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), identifies as religiously unaffiliated.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a whopping 91% of new members of Congress identify as Christian, and of the 293 Republicans elected to the 115th Congress, all but two identify as Christians. The other two are Jewish Republicans – Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York and Congressman David Kustoff of Tennessee. Overall, Democrats, too, identify as overwhelmingly Christian, with over 80% of them - 80% of them - but of the 242 Democrats in Congress, 28 are Jewish; there are no Jewish Republicans in Congress.
Jews make up a higher proportion of the Senate than the House (8% versus 5%).