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Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

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Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

Changes in Net Worth
The Donation Concentration Metric

Related Content
Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives
Net worth (average citizen)Net worth (Congress)


The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a two-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.

It consists of two different metrics:

The Net Worth Metric

  • Has a politician’s net worth had an abnormal increase? How does the increase in an incumbent’s net worth compare to the increase of other incumbents? How does it compare to the typical U.S. citizen?

The Donation Concentration Metric

  • In this study, we look at the concentration of career donations for each member and industry. This allows us to:
    • See which members had the highest percentage of their donations coming from their top five industries
    • Provide anecdotal examples of the relationship between committee membership and industry donations
    • Compare the partisan breakdown of each sector's highest recipients
    • Provide anecdotal examples of the relationship between sponsored legislation topics and sector donations
    • Establish most involved sectors

The "Changes in Net Worth" metric

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

This is the first part of the Personal Gain Index. The Personal Gain Index is a two-part study that examines the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have individually prospered during their tenure as public servants.

Researchers used data provided by OpenSecrets.org to calculate the change in net worth of each congressional incumbent from either 2004 or the year he or she was first elected, if that year was after 2004.[1]

The tables and graphs on this page show some of the highlights of the study. The change in net worth information has also been added to each of Ballotpedia's profiles of the 535 congressional incumbents. The data also includes some former members, whose net worth would have been calculated at the end of their term in the 112th Congress. The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress. Because many members have been in office for longer than the eight years this study illustrates, the real change in net worth each member sees after initially taking office may be higher than the numbers in this data.

Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Some incumbents experienced a net loss in net worth. When this is the case, it is expressed with a negative percent.

For the full set of data, please visit our Google spreadsheet here.

Top 100 net worth increases

This chart shows the average yearly percentage change in net worth of the 100 congressional incumbents whose calculated net worth[2] divided by the number of years studied was the highest.[3]

  • The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% per year.[4]
  • Of the "Top 100", 56 are Republicans, 43 are Democrats and one is an Independent.
    • In total, the study looks at 320 Republicans, 296 Democrats and two Independents.

Rep. Chellie Pingree's dramatic net worth increase is due to her marriage. Because of this, Ballotpedia removed Pingree when calculating the averages for this study, while continuing to list her in the chart.

The study is able to have figures for freshman members of the 113th Congress from 2011, despite their terms beginning in 2012, because they were required to file Personal Finance Disclosure forms during their candidacies in 2011.

The Top 100 table includes a handful of politicians who left office during or after 2012.

Negative to positive increases

Because the study focuses on percentage increases, a gap in the study it is difficult to determine a meaningful percentage for a member who had a starting net worth in the negatives but increased to a positive net worth by 2012. However, there were substantial increases in wealth of the members who fell into this category. For the 49 members who went from a negative net worth to a positive net worth, the average increase was $3.4 million per member.[9]

PGI percentage12.jpg

Yearly average gains

As illustrated in the "Top 100" chart above, the average yearly percentage gain was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation. For example, Sen. John McCain would have his net worth percentage divided by eight (2004-2012), since those are the years for which data is available for his net worth. For someone like Sen. Ted Cruz, however, his total net worth increase would be the same as his average yearly net worth increase, since the only available data is the increase between 2011 and 2012.

The average member saw his or her net worth increase by an average of 15.4 percent per year.

PGI percentage6.jpg

For the purpose of our comparison to the median American citizen data below, the median congressional increase was 1.55 percent per year.

Winner's Circle

When the members who lost money during this time period are removed from the calculation,[10] the growth in wealth among the "wealth gainers" stands out. If a member gains, expect the gain to be large.
The average yearly percentage increase for those members who increased their net worth was 43.6 percent.

PGI percentage8.jpg

Millionaire's Club

Those in Congress who held assets above the median net worth of $1 million in 2012 also saw a hefty annual percentage increase.
Congressional millionaires had an average yearly percentage increase of 23.9 percent.

PGI percentage9.jpg

Total average gains

As compared to the yearly average gains, the total average gains percentage change looks at the total change between the first year data is available for each member[11] and the 2012 data. Although this data is harder to compare member-to-member because the starting year may be different, it still provides insight as to who experienced the most drastic total increases.

Ten greatest overall gains

The ten current senators and representatives listed below experienced the highest overall net worth gains (by percentage) from 2004-2012.[12]

CPGI-TOP-10-Graphic.png

Ten greatest overall losses

The ten current senators and representatives listed here experienced the greatest declines in net worth (by percentage) from 2004-2012.[12]

CPGI-BOTTOM-10-Graphic.png

Congress compared to American citizens

This report compared average and median data, and in both cases the growth of congressional net worth significantly outpaced that of the American citizen.

Congressional net worth figures are a relatively small data set,[13] so Ballotpedia used average percentage changes throughout the study (adjusted as needed for outliers)[14] to best illustrate the average growth of wealth of members of Congress. The data for American citizens is a large sampling of the population that includes many households on either end of the distribution (high or low wealth), so median numbers were also included.

An average value is calculated by adding all the observations and dividing by the number of observations. A median is the middle value of a list.[15] The median figure can be beneficial in circumstances, like this one, where the high net worth of the wealthiest Americans can skew the average. Both the average and median for congressional and American citizen net worth growth are provided below. For a direct comparison to each individual member's figures (as shown on his or her Ballotpedia profile), the yearly median change will correspond with each member's average yearly change.

Median figures

Between 2004-2012, the median American household[16] saw an inflation-adjusted decrease of assets from $18,990 in 2004[17] to $17,557 in 2012. This was an inflation-adjusted annual percentage change of -0.94 from 2004 to 2012. Note that in order to have an apples-to-apples comparison between the household net worth of U.S. Congressmen and that of the American citizen, the value of equity in the citizen's personal residence was not taken into account in calculating the net worth of the average citizen, since the value of the personal residence of a Congressman is not included in their disclosure of their household net worth.

Median annual congressional growth:[18] Median annual citizen growth:[19]
PGI percentage11.jpg
PGI percentage7.jpg
Median citizen growth
American Citizen Median value of assets for households - Census data
Raw figures Adjusted for inflation
Year Net worth excluding home equity Net worth excluding home equity[20] Percent change (year to year)
2012[21] $17,298 $17,557 -7.55%
2004 $15,561[22] $18,990 --
Change from 2004 to 2012 $1,737 -$1,433 -7.55%
Average yearly change over eight years ('04-'12) -0.94%[23]
Source: United States Census Bureau; Wealth and Asset Ownership; Detailed Tables on Wealth and Asset Ownership (http://www.census.gov/people/wealth/data/dtables.html)

Average figures

Between 2004-2012, the average American household[16] saw an inflation-adjusted slight increase of assets from $204,957 in 2004[17] to $264,963 in 2012. This was an inflation-adjusted annual percentage change of 3.7 percent from 2004 to 2012.

  • As stated in the median section above, in order to have an apples-to-apples comparison between the household net worth of U.S. Congressmen and that of the American citizen, the value of equity in the citizen's personal residence was not taken into account in calculating the net worth of the average citizen, since the value of the personal residence of a Congressman is not included in their disclosure of their household net worth.
Average annual congressional growth:[24] Average annual citizen growth:[25]
PGI percentage6.jpg
PGI percentage13.jpg
Average citizen growth
American Citizen average value of assets for households - Census data
Raw figures Adjusted for inflation
Year Net worth excluding home equity Net worth excluding home equity[26] Percent change (year to year)
2012[27] $261,138 $264,963 29.3%
2004 $166,195[28] $204,957 --
Change from 2004 to 2012 $94,942.40 $60,006 3.7%
Average yearly change over eight years ('04-'12) 3.7%[29]
Source: United States Census Bureau; Wealth and Asset Ownership; Detailed Tables on Wealth and Asset Ownership (http://www.census.gov/people/wealth/data/dtables.html)


Freshman increases

A limitation to the data set is that the whole picture of wealth growth while in Congress is unavailable for those members who entered office prior to 2004.

For example, Sen. John McCain, who has been in Congress since 1982, shows a total net worth decrease of -74.5 percent during the period of 2004-2012. However, what the study is missing is how much he was worth in 1982 compared to 2012.

For this reason, Ballotpedia studied the freshmen members of both the 113th Congress (which began in January 2012) and the 112th Congress (which began in January 2010). Although the 2012 freshmen only saw moderate growth after one year in office, the growth for the 112th freshmen was staggering. One could say that the new retirement plan is to get elected and then re-elected (that is the key) to Congress and you will be set for life.

113th Congress freshmen

From 2011 to 2012, the average net worth change of a freshman member of the 113th Congress in one year was:

PGI percentage2.jpg

The study is able to have figures for freshman members of the 113th Congress from 2011, despite their terms beginning in 2012, because they were required to file Personal Finance Disclosure forms during their candidacies in 2011.

The 2012 "Freshman 15"

The following 15 freshman senators and representatives of the 113th Congress saw their net worth increase the most out of their incoming class of new members:

Member Increase from 2011-12
Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) 994.1%
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 82.5%
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) 80.2%
Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) 76%
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) 59.9%
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) 59.8%
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) 53.9%
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) 52.3%
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) 51.3%
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) 50.2%
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) 45%
Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) 41.4%
Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) 38.9%
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) 35.9%
Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) 29.8%

112th Congress freshmen

From 2009 to 2012, the average net worth change of a freshman member of the 112th Congress in three years[30] was:

PGI percentage3.jpg
The 2010 "Freshman 15"

The following 15 freshman representatives of the 112th Congress (no senators made the top 15 list) saw their net worth increase the most out of their incoming class of new members:

Member Increase from 2009-12
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) 1981.6%
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) 633.9%
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) 251.7%
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) 230.1%
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) 219.5%
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) 212.2%
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) 210.9%
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) 160.3%
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) 136.2%
Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) 136.2%
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) 111.9%
Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) 105.2%
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) 94.1%
Rep. Rich Nugent (R-IL) 93.2%
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) 83%

The Donation Concentration Metric

The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

The following are the key findings of the Donation Concentration Metric study:

Industry Concentration: Of the six members with the highest concentration of donations by industry, five were Democrats: three from the U.S. House of Representatives and two from the U.S. Senate. Lawyers/Law Firms appear in all five of the Democrats' top five. The five industries that make up the top five industries of the Republican member, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), are not shared by any of the four Democrats in the top five.

Sector Concentration: Of the 15 sectors analyzed by Ballotpedia, nine had highly partisan giving patterns, appearing primarily in either Republican or Democratic members' top five sectors. The Energy sector favored Republicans highly, with the sector appearing in the top five sectors of 19 Republicans, but only three Democrats. Democrats were the most favorable within the Unions sector, which placed in the top five of 18 Democrats and one independent. Like the Education sector, the Unions sector does not appear in the top five of any Republicans, indicating that they are more heavily supportive of Democrats than Republicans. The other 13 sectors appear in the top five sectors of at least one member of both major parties.

Bill Sponsorship: Of the 15 sectors, four of the highest recipients had direct correlations between sector donations and bill sponsorship. These four members sponsored a significant portion of legislation that is relevant to their highest donating sector. When organizing their sponsored legislation into categories, the category with the most sponsored legislation is directly relevant to the highest contributing sector of three of the four members.

PGImemberaverage.jpg

The average member of the 113th Congress received 26.34 percent of his or her career donations from only five industries. Although senators were marginally less concentrated (at 24.66 percent) compared to representatives (at 26.72 percent), many members received a high ratio of total contributions from a small selection of industries.



Highest overall concentration
PGIMember1.jpg

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) had the highest concentration of career donations coming from his top five industries: 49.56 percent came from five industries from within the Energy and Healthcare sectors.[31]

Lowest overall concentration
PGIMember3.jpg

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) had the lowest concentration of career donations coming from his top five industries: 2.9 percent.[32]




Three highest overall: U.S. House

Rep. Burgess: 49.56 percent

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-MN)
Michael Burgess Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $6,320,053
Total Spent $6,120,189
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Health Professionals$1,740,538
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products$637,424
Oil & Gas$348,146
Health Services/HMOs$216,250
Electric Utilities$189,822
% total in top industry27.54%
% total in top two industries37.63%
% total in top five industries49.56%


Rep. Cartwright: 45.65 percent

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA)
Matt Cartwright Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $2,423,482
Total Spent $1,726,491
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$817,014
Public Sector Unions$99,750
Building Trade Unions$80,000
Industrial Unions$61,500
Transportation Unions$48,000
% total in top industry33.71%
% total in top two industries37.83%
% total in top five industries45.65%


Rep. Sarbanes: 43.42 percent

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)
John Sarbanes Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $5,108,715
Total Spent $4,175,626
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$841,756
Retirement$456,775
Real Estate$382,507
Securities & Investment$271,028
Education$266,250
% total in top industry16.48%
% total in top two industries25.42%
% total in top five industries43.42%


Three highest overall: U.S. Senate

Sen. McCaskill: 38.34 percent

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Claire McCaskill Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $33,663,468
Total Spent $33,423,083
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Women's Issues$5,116,239
Lawyers/Law Firms$4,076,329
Retirement$2,146,772
Securities & Investments$872,918
Real Estate$693,030
% total in top industry15.2%
% total in top two industries27.31%
% total in top five industries38.34%


Sen. Walsh: 37.85 percent

Sen. John Walsh (D-MT)
John Walsh Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $2,779,750
Total Spent $2,066,129
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$347,146
Leadership PACs$313,000
Retirement$191,300
Lobbyists$112,100
Real Estate$88,610
% total in top industry12.49%
% total in top two industries23.75%
% total in top five industries37.85%


Sen. Booker: 37.85 percent

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Cory Booker Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $16,171,449
Total Spent $12,682,311
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$1,930,689
Securities & Investment$1,897,370
Real Estate$958,645
TV/Movies/Music$635,750
Business Services$416,350
% total in top industry11.94%
% total in top two industries23.67%
% total in top five industries36.11%


Top 100 most concentrated

Although many of the individual sectors and industries are highly polarized, having a high concentration of donations appears to be a bipartisan way of life. Of the top 100 most concentrated members of Congress, 54 were Democrats and 46 were Republican. There is also little difference between members of the two parties in terms of the percentage a member has in their top five industries. Democrats average 34.65 percent in their top five industries, while Republicans average just below at 34.41 percent.

Members with highest % from top five industries
Party Member of Congress % of career contributions[33] Year assumed office
Top 20: The average concentrated percentage in the top 20 was 40.23% over career contributions.
Republican Party Rep. Michael C. Burgess 49.56% 2003
Democratic Party Rep. Matt Cartwright 45.65% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. John Sarbanes 43.42% 2007
Republican Party Rep. Paul Gosar 42.24% 2011
Republican Party Rep. David G. Valadao 41.10% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Henry Waxman 40.64% 1975
Republican Party Rep. Tom Price 40.23% 2005
Republican Party Rep. Spencer Bachus 40.23% 1993
Republican Party Rep. Roger Williams 39.89% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Bruce Braley 39.28% 2007
Republican Party Rep. Andy Harris 38.97% 2011
Democratic Party Rep. Theodore E. Deutch 38.83% 2010
Democratic Party Rep. Jose Serrano 38.69% 1973
Democratic Party Rep. Jerrold Nadler 38.65% 1993
Democratic Party Rep. James A. Himes 38.55% 2009
Democratic Party Sen. Claire McCaskill 38.34% 2007
Democratic Party Sen. John Walsh 37.85% 2014
Republican Party Rep. Joe Heck 37.80% 2011
Republican Party Rep. Phil Gingrey 37.42% 2003
Democratic Party Rep. Gene Green 37.21% 1993
Total by party (1-20): 11 were Democrats Democratic Party 9 were Republicans Republican Party.
Top 21-40:The average concentrated percentage in the top 40 was 37.86% over career contributions.; for those in spots 21-40, it was 35.5%.
Republican Party Rep. Mike Conaway (Texas) 36.45% 2005
Republican Party Rep. Frank D. Lucas 36.39% 1994
Republican Party Rep. David Jolly 36.37% 2014
Democratic Party Sen. Cory Booker 36.11% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Joseph Kennedy III 36.09% 2013
Democratic Party Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse 36.00% 2007
Democratic Party Rep. Hakeem Jeffries 35.94% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Anna Eshoo 35.94% 1993
Democratic Party Rep. John C. Carney Jr. 35.67% 2011
Democratic Party Sen. Chris Coons 35.66% 2010
Democratic Party Rep. Zoe Lofgren 35.55% 1995
Democratic Party Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand 35.47% 2009
Democratic Party Rep. Lloyd Doggett 35.28% 1995
Democratic Party Rep. Joseph Crowley 35.25% 1999
Republican Party Rep. Doug LaMalfa 35.18% 2013
Democratic Party Sen. Chuck Schumer 34.87% 1999
Democratic Party Rep. William Enyart 34.78% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Gregory W. Meeks 34.37% 1998
Democratic Party Rep. Nita Lowey 34.34% 1989
Republican Party Rep. Jeb Hensarling 34.29% 2003
Total by party (1-40): 26 were Democrats Democratic Party 14 were Republicans Republican Party.
Top 41-60:The average concentrated percentage in the top 60 was 36.43% over career contributions.; for those in spots 41-60, it was 33.57%.
Republican Party Rep. Devin Nunes 34.29% 2003
Democratic Party Rep. George Miller 34.21% 1975
Democratic Party Rep. Al Green 33.90% 2005
Republican Party Rep. Bill Huizenga 33.87% 2011
Democratic Party Rep. Terri Sewell 33.87% 2011
Democratic Party Rep. Chaka Fattah 33.84% 1995
Democratic Party Rep. Collin Peterson 33.79% 1991
Democratic Party Rep. John Barrow 33.69% 2005
Republican Party Rep. Scott DesJarlais 33.58% 2011
Republican Party Rep. Phil Roe 33.55% 2009
Republican Party Rep. Jim Bridenstine 33.53% 2013
Republican Party Rep. Cynthia Lummis 33.50% 2009
Republican Party Rep. John Campbell 33.42% 2005
Republican Party Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. 33.40% 2005
Democratic Party Rep. Richard Neal 33.39% 1989
Democratic Party Rep. Daniel Lipinski 33.26% 2005
Republican Party Rep. Larry Bucshon 33.24% 2011
Republican Party Sen. Mark Kirk 33.13% 2011
Democratic Party Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard 33.08% 1993
Democratic Party Rep. John Conyers, Jr. 32.96% 1965
Total by party (1-60): 36 were Democrats Democratic Party 24 were Republicans Republican Party.
Top 61-80:The average concentrated percentage in the top 80 was 35.38% over career contributions.; for those in spots 61-80, it was 32.24%.
Republican Party Rep. John Culberson 32.84% 2001
Republican Party Rep. Kevin Brady 32.84% 1997
Democratic Party Rep. Sean Maloney 32.84% 2013
Republican Party Rep. Joseph R. Pitts 32.77% 1997
Republican Party Sen. John Barrasso 32.73% 2007
Democratic Party Rep. Robert Brady 32.72% 1998
Republican Party Rep. Tom Cotton 32.65% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Allyson Schwartz 32.34% 2005
Democratic Party Rep. Mike Quigley 32.32% 2009
Democratic Party Rep. Chris Van Hollen 32.17% 2003
Republican Party Rep. Scott Garrett 32.12% 2003
Republican Party Rep. Bradley Byrne 32.00% 2014
Democratic Party Rep. Marcy Kaptur 31.95% 1983
Democratic Party Rep. John Lewis 31.86% 1987
Democratic Party Rep. Julia Brownley 31.82% 2013
Republican Party Rep. Dan Benishek 31.79% 2011
Republican Party Rep. Rob Woodall 31.77% 2011
Republican Party Rep. Scott Tipton 31.77% 2011
Republican Party Rep. Mo Brooks 31.74% 2011
Republican Party Sen. Rob Portman 31.73% 2011
Total by party (1-80): 44 were Democrats Democratic Party 36 were Republicans Republican Party.
Top 81-100:The average concentrated percentage in the top 100 was 34.54% over career contributions.; for those in spots 61-80, it was 31.16%.
Republican Party Rep. Louis B. "Louie" Gohmert Jr. 31.69% 2005
Democratic Party Rep. Diana DeGette 31.62% 1997
Republican Party Rep. Mac Thornberry 31.58% 1995
Democratic Party Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick 31.53% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney 31.50% 1993
Democratic Party Rep. Frederica S. Wilson 31.46% 2011
Democratic Party Sen. Bill Nelson 31.29% 2000
Republican Party Rep. Mark Meadows 31.28% 2013
Democratic Party Sen. Michael Bennet 31.27% 2009
Republican Party Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher 31.22% 2011
Democratic Party Rep. Carol Shea-Porter 31.14% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Jared Huffman 31.08% 2013
Democratic Party Rep. Raul Ruiz 31.03% 2013
Republican Party Rep. John Fleming 30.98% 2009
Republican Party Rep. Joe Barton 30.92% 1985
Republican Party Rep. Ron DeSantis 30.80% 2013
Republican Party Sen. Tim Scott 30.75% 2013
Republican Party Rep. Michael Grimm 30.71% 2011
Democratic Party Rep. Frank Pallone 30.65% 1993
Democratic Party Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson 30.62% 1993
Total by party (1-100): 54 were Democrats Democratic Party 46 were Republicans Republican Party.

See also

External links

References

  1. All data relating to the average net worth of individual members of congress from OpenSecrets.org and The Center for Responsive Politics is posted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
  2. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or his or her first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  3. The period studied is 2004-2012, or from the year the incumbent took office, if it was after 2004.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 This calculation excludes Chellie Pingree.
  5. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation. For example, for Chellie Pingree, her total net worth increase was divided by four, since it was calculated for four years (2008-2012). If the incumbent had been in office earlier than 2004, it would still only be divided by eight (2004-2012), since those are the only years for which we have data.
  6. Pingree's dramatic increase in net worth after her 2008 election was due to her 2010 marriage to billionaire Donald Sussman.
  7. Gov. Pence left Congress in 2012 to become the governor of Indiana.
  8. Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013.
  9. $3,403,112, to be precise.
  10. I.e. had a negative percentage change.
  11. The data starts in 2004 for any member who started either in 2004 or prior, or at a later year for anyone who was elected after 2004.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Or from the year the incumbent was first elected, if that year was after 2004.
  13. 618 members are included in the congressional data, compared to the millions sampled in the census data.
  14. Such as Chellie Pingree.
  15. "Medians are often used when data are skewed, meaning that the distribution is uneven. In that case, a few very high numbers could, for instance, change the average, but they would not change the median." Bandolier, "Mean, Median, Mode," accessed July 15, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 The citizen net worth data was calculated from figures from the United States Census Bureau. In keeping with the method of calculating congressional net worth, home equity was withheld from the figure. The figures reflect the median household holdings.
  17. 17.0 17.1 The 2004 figure was adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars.
  18. This percentage reflects the median annual percentage growth of all members of Congress.
  19. As stated above, this is the total change in the amount of assets the median American household had from 2004 to 2012 divided by the eight year span.
  20. To ensure consistency among data sets, home equity was withheld in a similar fashion to primary residences not being counted as assets for congressional data.
  21. Because 2012 household net worth figures had not been released as of publication date, this figure represents the 2011 numbers adjusted for inflation. These estimates assume no change in net worth between 2011 and 2012. The 2012 figure will be updated when available.
  22. Census figures were unavailable for the raw, excluding home equity figure -- this figure is an estimate calculated by applying the 2005 ratio of net worth excluding home equity to the net worth figure available for 2004 (which included home equity).
  23. For a direct comparison to each individual member's figures (as shown on his or her Ballotpedia profile), the yearly change will correspond with each member's average yearly change.
  24. This percentage reflects the average annual percentage growth of all members of Congress.
  25. As stated above, this is the total change in the amount of assets the average American household had from 2004 to 2012 divided by the eight year span.
  26. To ensure consistency among data sets, home equity was withheld in a similar fashion to primary residences not being counted as assets for congressional data.
  27. Because 2012 household net worth figures had not been released as of publication date, this figure represents the 2011 numbers adjusted for inflation. These estimates assume no change in net worth between 2011 and 2012. The 2012 figure will be updated when available.
  28. Census figures were unavailable for the raw, excluding home equity figure -- this figure is an estimate calculated by applying the 2005 ratio of net worth excluding home equity to the net worth figure available for 2004 (which included home equity).
  29. For a direct comparison to each individual member's figures (as shown on his or her Ballotpedia profile), the yearly change will correspond with each member's average yearly change.
  30. From their 2009 required candidacy filing to 2012.
  31. OpenSecrets.org, "Rep. Michael Burgess," accessed September 23, 2014
  32. OpenSecrets.org, "Rep. Scott Perry," accessed September 24, 2014
  33. Career contributions is defined as a member's donations from his or her first race to updated figures for 2014. If a member was elected prior to 1990, there is only data back to 1989.