The Corner

Politics & Policy

Some Senator Birthplace Trivia

Dusk falls over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., November 18, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Each state gets two senators, but that doesn’t mean there are two senators who were born in each state. The Constitution only requires that senators be at least 30 years old, be U.S. citizens for at least nine years, and live in the state from which they are elected. A senator’s place of birth has no political significance, but there’s nothing wrong with a little Senate trivia, so here goes.

There are only 13 states where both current senators were born in that state:

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia

There are also 13 states where neither current senator was born in that state:

  • Alaska (this one is on a technicality, see below about Murkowski)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut (both were born in New York, which actually makes a lot of sense)
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Seven senators were not born in states at all:

  • Michael Bennet was born in India, where his father worked for the U.S. ambassador.
  • Tammy Duckworth was born in Thailand. Her father worked for the United Nations.
  • Chris Van Hollen was born in Pakistan, where his father was working for the Foreign Service.
  • Mazie Hirono was born in Japan. Putting politics aside, her story of coming to America as a child is remarkable.
  • Lisa Murkowski was born in the Alaska Territory in 1957. Alaska became a state in 1959. She is the only senator who was born in a U.S. territory.
  • Cory Booker was born in the District of Columbia.
  • And of course, Ted Cruz was born in Canada.

More than two senators were born in the following 13 states:

  • New York (7)
  • Pennsylvania (5)
  • Illinois (4)
  • Michigan (4)
  • Mississippi (4)
  • Arkansas (3)
  • California (3)
  • Indiana (3)
  • Iowa (3)
  • Kansas (3)
  • Minnesota (3)
  • Ohio (3)
  • West Virginia (3)

And there are currently zero senators who were born in these seven states:

  • Alaska (again, technicality re: Murkowski)
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Utah

My only takeaway: We have a great big country with free travel between states, and that’s great.

See the full list below. You can click the column headers to sort by alphabetical order.

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