Studying the Voting Age Trend

Shannon Clark '23, Contributing Writer

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With the 2020 presidential elections right around the corner, it is time to think about voting demographics again. Specifically, the age trend of voters has been a topic for conversation. Based on the 2018 midterm election, the 2020 election should have a large turnout. In 2018 for the midterms, the overall voter percentage went up 11% from 2014. Turnout increased across the board in all major racial and ethnic groups. Fifty-three percent of people voted in 2018, highest in decades, 2014 had the lowest in decades. If this percent increase occurs again, there will be a huge number of votes cast in this election.

According to the United States Census Bureau in 2017, “Among 18- to 29-year-olds, voter turnout went from 20% in 2014 to 36% in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group.” 

However, records have shown since 1980, the lowest voter turnout has been in people ages 18 to 29, usually coming in at anywhere around 40 to 50% of that age group. As of May 10, 2017, this age group has been the highest percent increased since 2012. 

In the 30 to 44-year-old age group they were steady with 60% of their population voting in 2018. Age groups 65 and older and 45 to 64 years each came in with approximately 70% voter turnout per group. According to the data, people of ages 45 or older voted approximately 70% of their total age group.

Despite the fact that these numbers seem high, over time voting turnout has decreased within the individual age categories. As for the overall vote, the numbers may come as a surprise. Millennials (18-35) and Baby Boomers (52-70) together make up about 31% of votes. Generation X (36-51) are about 25%, and the Silent Generation (71+) makes up approximately 12% of casted votes. It appears as if the millennial vote number will continue to increase as more and more younger people are becoming of voting age. 

Although there are many predictions for whom will vote in the 2020 presidential election, nothing is guaranteed. There are only patterns on which to base inductive conclusions.