Leadership Power Indices

A generation’s power index is a measure of its lifetime tenure in office. It is the sum of all of its leadership shares across all years, divided by its number of birth years. Starting with the Compromise Generation, the “national” leadership share is the unweighted average of the shares in these three bodies.

Since this value for all cohorts averages to 100, we can say that a generation’s index measures the political power of its cohorts relative to all cohorts of all generations. For example, the Gilded Generation’s value of 120.9 shows that its cohorts, on average, occupied political office for 20.9 percent more aggregate years than the average for all cohorts of all generations.

Power Index
Relative Measure of Lifetime Power by Generation and Position
Generation Power Index
Name Birth Years Rep. Sen. Gov. Nat’l
  1. For the Awakening, Liberty, and Republican Generations, the Nat’l share includes service in the Continental Congress between 1775 and 1787.
  2. This generation’s power index is still rising, since it still has members in office.
Awakening1 1701–1723 0.1 0.5 2.0 14.4
Liberty1 1724–1741 15.9 22.4 35.2 64.2
Republican1 1742–1766 82.2 88.6 88.5 97.8
Compromise 1767–1791 102.7 114.4 99.2 104.4
Transcendental 1792–1821 112.9 113.7 109.2 113.1
Gilded 1822–1842 119.7 132.2 112.1 120.9
Progressive 1843–1859 109.2 99.4 104.8 106.8
Missionary 1860–1882 120.6 114.5 117.1 119.2
Lost 1883–1900 101.2 102.1 94.6 100.8
GI 1901–1924 99.1 97.1 103.1 99.0
Silent2 1925–1942 113.4 125.4 120.3 116.0
Boom2 1943–1960 102.9 72.5 106.1 97.9
Generation X2 1961–1981 17.1 7.4 8.1 14.7

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