How Long Do Most World Leaders Stay in Power?

Throughout history, world leaders have remained in power for as briefly as a few weeks or as long as several decades. Despite the number of well-known leaders in nations such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada remaining in office for long terms, leaders in Africa and the Middle East tend to stay in power longer. Leaders in those areas remain in power for an average of seven to eight years.

More facts about world leaders:

  • As of 2012, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was among the longest-serving leaders in the world. Beginning with her ascension to the throne in 1952, her reign has seen a great deal of social and political change. As of 2012, her reign was the second longest among British monarchs, behind only Queen Victoria, whose reign lasted 63 years and 216 days from 1837 to 1901.

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest-serving president of the United States. Beginning with his election in 1933, Roosevelt served four four-year terms. He remains the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms, which is now prevented by law.

  • William Lyon Mackenzie King was the longest-serving prime minister in Canada, with more than 21 years and five months of service. King served from 1921 to 1930 — other than a few months in 1926 — then again from 1935 to 1948.

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