Apart from its political makeup and policy objectives, the new Congress differs from prior ones in other ways, including its demographics.
More than one-in-five voting members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are racial or ethnic minorities.
While the 115th Congress was more legislatively active than its recent predecessors, the proportion of substantive to ceremonial legislation was much the same.
The 69 immigrants and children of immigrants in the 116th Congress claim heritage in 38 countries and are overwhelmingly Democrats.
No matter who they blamed for previous government shutdowns or how much they felt personally affected by them, most Americans have had negative opinions about them.
Data from the past 50 years reveal the upward yet uneven trajectory of black political leadership in America.
Many federal workers live and work far from D.C., with substantial numbers in districts scattered across the country – and represented by both Democratic and GOP members of Congress.
The new Congress is slightly more religiously diverse than its predecessor, but it remains overwhelmingly Christian.
The new, 116th Congress includes the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the House of Representatives, and is, overall, slightly more religiously diverse than the prior Congress.
When the 116th Congress convenes, women will make up nearly a quarter of both chambers – the highest percentage in U.S. history.