Voter turnout among 65+ year olds in U.S. presidential elections 1964-2016

In U.S. presidential elections in recent years, those aged 65 and over have had the highest turnout rate, with a participation rate of over two thirds since the 1984 election. Since 1964, white voters have had the highest turnout rates of all major ethnic groups, particularly those of non-Hispanic origin, except in 2012, when African American voters had the highest participation rate. The participation rate among black voters over the age of 65 has increased gradually from 45 percent in 1964, and has been above two thirds in the past three elections. As with younger age groups, Asian American and Hispanic voters have the lowest turnout rates, however participation among older voters is much higher than with those in the younger age brackets.

Voter turnout rates* among voters aged 65 years and over by ethnicity in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2016

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Release date



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.

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