Entry Into Leadership

For each generation, we calculate the share of leadership it possesses when its oldest members reach age 42. The share is calculated separately for three U.S. bodies: all senators, all representatives, and all governors. “National” leadership shares are the unweighted average of the shares in these three bodies.

We also list the first year in which each generation has any leaders, how many entered office in that year, and their average age in that year.

Entry Into Leadership
Share When Oldest Members Reach Age 42 by Generation
Generation Share (%)
Name Birth Years Rep. Sen. Gov. Nat’l
  1. Share calculation not applicable, as these generation’s oldest members reached age 42 before 1789.
Awakening1 1701–1723
Liberty1 1724–1741
Republican1 1742–1766
Compromise 1767–1791 35.233.329.434.3
Transcendental 1792–1821 41.622.620.837.0
Gilded 1822–1842 31.612.525.027.0
Progressive 1843–1859 25.14.815.820.5
Missionary 1860–1882 22.86.511.118.9
Lost 1883–1900 14.84.710.412.7
GI 1901–1924 18.86.56.315.6
Silent 1925–1942 20.010.512.017.6
Boom 1943–1960 23.18.76.019.2
Generation X 1961–1981 10.02.02.08.0
Millennial 1982–2003

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First Leaders
Year, Number, and Average Age by Generation
Generation Year Count Avg Age
Name Birth Years
  1. Calculations reflect only leaders’ who held office in or after 1789.
Awakening1 1701–1723 1789 2 67.0
Liberty1 1724–1741 1789 48 53.0
Republican1 1742–1766 1789 62 39.0
Compromise 1767–1791 1795 2 27.0
Transcendental 1792–1821 1819 1 27.0
Gilded 1822–1842 1849 2 27.0
Progressive 1843–1859 1873 6 28.5
Missionary 1860–1882 1889 2 28.5
Lost 1883–1900 1913 4 30.0
GI 1901–1924 1929 1 27.0
Silent 1925–1942 1953 1 27.0
Boom 1943–1960 1971 1 27.0
Generation X 1961–1981 1993 2 31.5
Millennial 1982–2003 2013 1 30.0

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