Voter turnout among 18-24 year olds in U.S. presidential elections 1964-2016

In U.S. presidential elections since 1964, voters in the 18 to 24 age bracket have traditionally had the lowest turnout rates among all ethnicities. From 1964 until 1996, white voters in this age bracket had the highest turnout rates of the four major ethnic groups in the U.S., particularly those of non-Hispanic origin; however participation was highest among young African Americans in 2008 and 2012, during the elections where Barack Obama, the U.S.' first African-American major party candidate, was nominated. Young Asian American and Hispanic voters generally have the lowest turnout rates, and were frequently below half of the overall 18 to 24 turnout before the 2000s.

Voter turnout rates* among 18 to 24 year olds by ethnicity in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2016

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Source

Release date

2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

1964 to 2016

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.

**Prior to 2004, data also includes Pacific Islanders, therefore caution is advised when comparing figures over time.

***Non-Hispanic whites are defined as European Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, and North African Americans, who do not have Hispanic ancestry. Their data is also included in the "White"category.

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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