Politics

Legal Voting Age by Country

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

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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, 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.

Which Country Has the Oldest Voting Age?

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.

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
69Falkland Islands18
70Faroe Islands18
71Fiji18
72Finland18
73France18
74French Polynesia18
75Gabon18
76Gambia18
77Georgia18
78Germany18
79Ghana18
80Gibraltar18
81Greece17
82Greenland18
83Grenada18
84Gaudeloupe18
85Guam18
86Guatemala 18
87Guernsey16
88Guinea18
89Guinea-Bissau18
90Guyana18
91Haiti18
92Honduras18
93Hong Kong18
94Hungary18
95Iceland18
96India18
97Indonesia17
98Iran18
99Iraq18
100Ireland18
101Isle of Man16
102Israel18
103Italy18
104Jamaica18
105Japan18
106Jersey16
107Jordan18
108Kazakhstan18
109Kenya18
110Kiribati18
111North Korea17
112South Korea19
113Kosovo 18
114Kuwait21
115Kyrgyzstan18
116Laos18
117Latvia18
118Lebanon18
119Lesotho18
120Liberia18
121Libya18
122Liechtenstein18
123Lithuania18
124Luxembourg18
125Macau18
126Macedonia18
127Madagascar18
128Malawi18
129Malaysia21
130Maldives18
131Mali18
132Malta18
133Marshall islands18
134Martinique18
135Mauritania18
136Mauritius18
137Mayotte18
138Mexico18
139Federated States of Micronesia18
140Moldova18
141Monaco18
142Mongolia18
143Montenegro18
144Montserrat18
145Morocco18
146Mozambique18
147Myanmar18
148Namibia18
149Nauru20
150Nepal18
151Netherlands18
152New Caledonia18
153New Zealand18
154Nicaragua16
155Niger18
156Nigeria18
157Niue18
158Norfolk Island18
159Northern Mariana Islands18
160Norway18
161Oman21
162Pakistan18
163Palau18
164Panama18
165Papua New guinea18
166Paraguay18
167Peru18
168Philippines18
169Pitcairn Islands18
170Poland18
171Portugal18
172Puerto Rico18
173Watar18
174Reunion18
175Romania18
176Russia18
177Rwanda18
178Saint Helena18
179Saint Kitts and Nevis18
180St. Lucia18
181Saint Pierre and Miquelon18
182Saint Vincent and the Grenadines18
183Samoa21
184San Marino18
185Sao Tome and Principe18
186Saudi Arabia18
187Scotland16
188Senegal18
189Serbia18
190Seychelles18
191Sierra Leone18
192Singapore21
193Sint Maarten18
194Slovakia18
195Slovenia18
196Solomon Islands18
197Somalia18
198South Africa18
199South Sudan17
200Spain18
201Sri Lanka18
202Sudan17
203Suriname18
204Swaziland18
205Sweden18
206Switzerland 18
207Syria18
208Taiwan20
209Tajikistan18
210Tanzania18
211Thailand18
212Togo18
213Tokelau21
214Tonga21
215Trinidad and Tobago18
216Tunisia18
217Turkey 18
218Turkmenistan18
219Turks and Caicos18
220Tuvalu18
221Uganda18
222Ukraine18
223United Arab Emirates25
224United Kingdom18
225United States18
226Uruguay18
227Uzbekistan18
228Vanuatu18
229Venezuela18
230Vietnam18
231Virgin Islands of the United States18
232Wallis and Futuna18
233Western Sahara18
234Yemen18
235Zambia18
236Zimbabwe18

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