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Age of US Presidents when first taking office 1789-2016

Since 1789, 44 different men have served as President of the United States, and the average age of these men when taking office for the first time was approximately 56 years and 146 days. There is an even number of US Presidents above and below this average, and, generally speaking, Democratic presidents tend to be younger than Republicans, with eleven Democrats below the average age, and just five above it. Of the 19 Republican presidents, ten are above the average age, while nine are below. Eight of the ten non-Republican or Democratic presidents were older than 57 when assuming office for the first time, however the first four (sometimes five) US presidents are considered Founding Fathers, whose ages obviously grew while their predecessors were in office.

Record holders

The youngest presidents to take office were John F Kennedy in 1961 (43 years and 236 days), and Bill Clinton in 1993 (46 years and 154 days), and the oldest presidents to take office were Donald Trump in 2017 (70 years and 220 days), and Ronald Reagan in 1981 (69 years and 349 days). There seems to be little correlation between age and electability, as the past six presidents have included the two oldest to ever take office, and two of the youngest to ever take office. The 2020 US presidential election, which takes place on November 3, will also set a record for the oldest US President ever elected to office; the election will primarily be contested by Donald Trump (who turned 74 in June) and Joe Biden (who would be 78 when taking office).

Leaders in other countries

Across the world, there are elected leaders from a wide range of ages. Recent months have seen the election of the two youngest sitting world leaders; with 34 year old Sanna Marin's election as the Prime Minister of Finland, and 33 year old Sebastian Kurz's re-election as the Chancellor of Austria (after having also served in this position at 31 years old). Several unelected current-leaders also, came in to power at an even earlier age than this; as North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, assumed office at the age of 28 (possibly 27), while the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, ascended to the throne at the age of 26. In contrast to this, US presidents must be at least 35 years old upon their inauguration.
While there are many current monarchs or heads of state in their 80s and 90s, very few of them were elected to office; the oldest elected state leaders in recent years were (now-retired) Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia, who was two months shy of 93 when elected to office, and the current President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, who was over 81 years old when first elected to power. The Queen of England will turn 94 in April this year, while Pope Francis will celebrate his 84th birthday in December.

Age of all Presidents of the United States when taking office for the first time from 1789 to 2016

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Release date



United States

Survey time period

1789 to 2016

Supplementary notes

*Died of natural causes while in office.

The age of the Presidents in years and days is as follows:
John F. Kennedy: 43 years, 236 days
Bill Clinton: 46 years, 154 days
Ulysses S. Grant: 46 years, 311 days
Barack Obama: 47 years, 169 days
Franklin Pierce: 48 years, 101 days
James A. Garfield: 49 years, 105 days
James K. Polk: 49 years, 122 days
Theodore Roosevelt: 50 years, 128 days
Millard Fillmore: 50 years, 183 days
John Tyler: 51 years, 6 days
Franklin D. Roosevelt: 51 years, 33 days
Chester A. Arthur: 51 years, 349 days
Grover Cleveland: 51 years, 351 days
Abraham Lincoln: 52 years, 20 days
Jimmy Carter: 52 years, 111 days
Martin Van Buren: 54 years, 89 days
Rutherford B. Hayes: 54 years, 151days
George W. Bush: 54 years, 198 days
Lyndon B. Johnson: 55 years, 87 days
William H. Taft: 55 years, 170 days
Richard Nixon: 56 years, 11 days
Andrew Johnson: 56 years, 107 days
AVERAGE: 56 years, 146 days
Calvin Coolidge: 56 years, 243 days
George Washington: 56 years, 67 days
John Quincy Adams: 57 years, 236 days
Warren G. Harding: 57 years, 273 days
Thomas Jefferson: 57 years, 325 days
James Madison: 57years, 353 days
Herbert Hoover: 58 years, 206 days
William McKinley: 58 years, 228 days
James Monroe: 58 years, 310 days
Benjamin Harrison: 59 years, 196 days
Harry S. Truman: 60 years, 339 days
Gerald Ford: 61 years, 26 days
Zachary Taylor: 61 years, 100 days
John Adams: 61 years, 125 days
Andrew Jackson: 61 years, 354 days
Dwight D. Eisenhower: 62 years, 98 days
Woodrow Wilson: 64years, 66 days
George H. W. Bush: 64 years, 61 days
James Buchanan: 65 years, 315 days
William H. Harrison: 68 years, 23 days
Ronald Reagan: 69 years, 349 days
Donald Trump: 70 years, 220 days

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