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Congress is now three times more Jewish than the United States as a whole

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House of Representatives building and the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Flickr photo - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ )

More than 6 per cent of the new U.S. Congress is Jewish, with 34 Jews among the total of 535 lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Jews make up 2 per cent of the U.S. population, so Congress as a whole is more than three times as Jewish as the country in general, according to a new study by the Pew Research Centre on religion in the new Congress, which was inaugurated Thursday.

The number is even larger in the Senate, where eight of the 100 members are Jewish. That’s 8 per cent, for the math challenged.

This Congress has four more Jews than its predecessor, which had 30 Jewish members. But it’s far from the most Jewish Congress ever. That was the 1993 Congress, which boasted 51 Jews — nearly 10 per cent of the total.

All of the Jews in the Senate are Democrats, as are all but two in the House. The Republican exceptions are Reps. Lee Zeldin and David Kustoff, from New York and Tennessee, respectively. They are the only non-Christian Republicans in the Congress, according to Pew.

Congress as a whole is overwhelmingly Christian — even more so than the country. Seventy-one per cent of Americans identify as Christian, compared to 88 per cent of Congress. Both Protestants and Catholics are overrepresented on Capitol Hill.

The most underrepresented group is unaffiliated Americans. Twenty-three per cent of Americans don’t identify with a religion, but that’s true of just a sole member of Congress — new Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Unitarians are also represented in Congress.