Are Younger or Older US Voters More Likely to Vote?

In the United States' 2010 general election, only about one-third of all registered voters in the 25-44 age group cast ballots, while half of registered voters between the ages of 45 and 64 voted. Analysts have suggested a number of reasons why older people are more likely to vote, including a desire to protect certain rights and benefits, such as Social Security payments. Another explanation involves mobility: Younger voters may be moving back and forth between school or searching for jobs, while older voters are more likely to be settled homeowners. Many younger voters end up forgetting to re-register as they move around, so they are less likely to participate in elections.

More about voting age:

  • The highest minimum voting age in the world is currently 21. Some countries, such as the Dominican Republic and Indonesia, have laws that permit people to vote, at any age, if they are married. In North Korea, military members may vote, no matter how young they are.

  • The United Kingdom has been seriously debating the issue of lowering the voting age to 16. The first parliamentary vote on the topic took place in 1999, but the proposal was defeated.

  • In the US 2008 elections, more voters 45 and over turned out at the polls than all other age groups combined.

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