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Voter turnout in U.S. midterm elections by age 1966-2018

In the U.S. midterm elections, there is a large disparity in voting participation among eligible voters under the age of 25, and all other age groups. Since 1986, statistics show that voter participation directly correlates with age, with those in higher age brackets more likely to vote in midterm elections; a similar correlation has appeared in presidential elections since 1988, although turnout in these elections is significantly higher. From 1966 until 2014, voter participation gradually decreased (although sometimes fluctuated) among voters under 65 years of age; while it generally increased (and plateaued around sixty percent) among those older than 65. The 2018 midterms saw large increases in voter participation across all age groups, with the largest increases coming from younger voters; in spite of this, eligible voters over the age of 65 were still more than twice as likely to vote as those under 25.

Voter turnout rates* among selected age groups in U.S. midterm elections from 1966 to 2018

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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period

1966 to 2018

Supplementary notes

*Voter turnout figures relate to the share of eligible voters who take part in the election, and does not represent the share of the entire population (for example, under-18's, non-citizens, felons (rules vary)).
Residents in U.S. overseas territories are eligible to vote in general elections, but may not vote in the presidential election.

**Data from before 1972 is for 21 to 24 year olds, except for voters in Georgia and Kentucky (18-24), Alaska (19-24) and Hawaii (20-24). The 26th Amendment to the U.S. constitution lowered the minimum voting age to 18 across the country.

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Statistics on "United States midterm elections 2018"

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