Politics

Legal Voting Age by Country

In the majority of states, the legal voting age is 18.

A voting age is the minimum legal age set by the law at which persons are allowed to engage in casting their vote on a public election day. This age is usually stated in a country’s constitution as the legal voting age. In as much as voting is compulsory in some countries, for most nations it is optional to vote.The voting ages vary from 16 to 25 in different countries of the world.

The legal voting ages

Countries Whose Legal Voting Age is 16

The legal voting age for Nicaragua, Scotland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, and Austria is 16 years. However, this age has been criticized by most people due to the fact that youths of this age have not yet gotten into the world of employment, tax remission, and home ownership. Many election decisions are believed to revolve around these three issues. As such it is assumed that those at the age of 16 are not able to vote knowledgeably based on the leaders’ policies. However, other critics have observed low voter turn out for persons aged 18 and above due to the apparent lack of interest in politics. As such they suggest that youths of age 16 are able to turn up for elections in large numbers. During the independent referendum in Scotland in 2014, the inclusion of the youths aged 16 and 17 produced positive results. Most of them who felt inadequate to vote resolved to actively seeking information that enabled them to make informed decisions on the voting day. This informed the decision of Scotland to lower its legal voting age to 16 from 18. However, Austria was the first European nation to lower its voting age in 2011.

Countries Whose Legal Voting Age is 17

Countries whose legal voting age is 17 are Sudan, South Sudan, North Korea, Indonesia, Greece, European Union, and East Timor. Even though the voting age in Indonesia is 17 years old, married persons are required to vote regardless of their age.

Countries Whose Legal Voting Age is 18

The legal voting age for most countries is 18. Over one hundred nations are in this category including Afghanistan, China, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Comoros, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Mauritania, Kenya, Mongolia, Philippines, Saint Helena, Tanzania, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Japan, and Italy among many others. The voting age for residents of Boznia and Herzegovania is also 18. However, employed persons aged 16 can vote. On the other hand, in Argentina the voting age is 18 but those aged between 16 and 18 may also vote. In addition to this, voting is optional for citizens aged 70 and above.

Countries Whose Legal Voting Age is 19

South Korea is the only nation in which the legal voting age for the citizens is 19 years.

Countries With Legal Voting Ages of 20 or Above

The countries whose legal voting age is 20 include Nauru, Taiwan, and Bahrain. On the other hand, those states who can vote when 21 years or older are Oman, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Singapore, Malaysia, Kuwait, Jersey, and Cameroon. The United Arab Emirates has the oldest legal voting age in the world. Citizens can only vote when they attain the age of 25 or older. Notwithstanding the legal voting age, voting is a constitutional right that needs to be exercised by all citizens of a country.

Legal Voting Age by Country

RankCountryLegal Voting Age
1Afghanistan18
2Albania18
3Algeria18
4American Saoa18
5Andorra18
6Angola18
7Anguilla18
8Antigua and Barbuda18
9Argentina18 (16 to 18 and 70 and above optional)
10Armenia18
11Aruba18
12Australia18
13Austria16
14Azerbaijan18
15Bahamas18
16Bahrain20
17Bangladesh18
18Barbados18
19Belarus18
20Belgium18
21Belize18
22Benin18
23Bermuda18
24Bhutan18
25Bolivia18
26Bosnia and Herzegovina18 (16 if employed)
27Botswana18
28Brazil16
29British Virgin Islands18
30Brunei18
31Bulgaria18
32Burkina Faso18
33Burundi18
34Cambodia18
35Cameroon21
36Canada18
37Cape Verde18
38Cayman Islands18
39Central African Republic18
40Chad18
41Chile18
42China18
43Cocos Islands18
44Colomia18
45Comoros18
46Democratic Republic of the Congo18
47Republic of the Congo18
48Cook Islands18
49Costa Rica18
50Cote d'Ivoire18
51Croatia18
52Cuba16
53Curacao18
54Cyprus18
55Czech Republic18
56Denmark18
57Djibouti18
58Dominica18
59Dominican Republic18
60East Timor17
61Ecuador16
62Egypt18
63El Salvador18
64England18
65Equatorial Guinea18
66Eritrea18
67Estonia18
68Ethiopia16
69European Union17
70Falkland Islands18
71Faroe Islands18
72Fiji18
73Finland18
74France18
75French Polynesia18
76Gabon18
77Gambia18
78Georgia18
79Germany18
80Ghana18
81Gibraltar18
82Greece17
83Greenland18
84Grenada18
85Gaudeloupe18
86Guam18
87Guatemala 18
88Guernsey16
89Guinea18
90Guinea-Bissau18
91Guyana18
92Haiti18
93Honduras18
94Hong Kong18
95Hungary18
96Iceland18
97India18
98Indonesia17
99Iran18
100Iraq18
101Ireland18
102Isle of Man16
103Israel18
104Italy18
105Jamaica18
106Japan18
107Jersey16
108Jordan18
109Kazakhstan18
110Kenya18
111Kiribati18
112North Korea17
113South Korea19
114Kosovo 18
115Kuwait21
116Kyrgyzstan18
117Laos18
118Latvia18
119Lebanon18
120Lesotho18
121Liberia18
122Libya18
123Liechtenstein18
124Lithuania18
125Luxembourg18
126Macau18
127Macedonia18
128Madagascar18
129Malawi18
130Malaysia21
131Maldives18
132Mali18
133Malta18
134Marshall islands18
135Martinique18
136Mauritania18
137Mauritius18
138Mayotte18
139Mexico18
140Federated States of Micronesia18
141Moldova18
142Monaco18
143Mongolia18
144Montenegro18
145Montserrat18
146Morocco18
147Mozambique18
148Myanmar18
149Namibia18
150Nauru20
151Nepal18
152Netherlands18
153New Caledonia18
154New Zealand18
155Nicaragua16
156Niger18
157Nigeria18
158Niue18
159Norfolk Island18
160Northern Mariana Islands18
161Norway18
162Oman21
163Pakistan18
164Palau18
165Panama18
166Papua New guinea18
167Paraguay18
168Peru18
169Philippines18
170Pitcairn Islands18
171Poland18
172Portugal18
173Puerto Rico18
174Watar18
175Reunion18
176Romania18
177Russia18
178Rwanda18
179Saint Helena18
180Saint Kitts and Nevis18
181St. Lucia18
182Saint Pierre and Miquelon18
183Saint Vincent and the Grenadines18
184Samoa21
185San Marino18
186Sao Tome and Principe18
187Saudi Arabia18
188Scotland16
189Senegal18
190Serbia18
191Seychelles18
192Sierra Leone18
193Singapore21
194Sint Maarten18
195Slovakia18
196Slovenia18
197Solomon Islands18
198Somalia18
199South Africa18
200South Sudan17
201Spain18
202Sri Lanka18
203Sudan17
204Suriname18
205Swaziland18
206Sweden18
207Switzerland 18
208Syria18
209Taiwan20
210Tajikistan18
211Tanzania18
212Thailand18
213Togo18
214Tokelau21
215Tonga21
216Trinidad and Tobago18
217Tunisia18
218Turkey 18
219Turkmenistan18
220Turks and Caicos18
221Tuvalu18
222Uganda18
223Ukraine18
224United Arab Emirates25
225United Kingdom18
226United States18
227Uruguay18
228Uzbekistan18
229Vanuatu18
230Venezuela18
231Vietnam18
232Virgin Islands of the United States18
233Wallis and Futuna18
234Western Sahara18
235Yemen18
236Zambia18
237Zimbabwe18

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