CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
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You Ask, We Answer: More Youth Eligible to Vote than Those Over 65

CIRCLE was recently asked several questions about the number of youth eligible to vote and the relationship of that number to other voters. We suspect many will be interested in the results, so here are some quick answers:

1)    How many 18-29 year-olds are eligible to vote in 2012?
There are approximately 46 million 18-to-29 year-olds currently eligible to vote.

2)    What percentage of the voting eligible population do 18-to-29 year old citizens make up?
18-29 year old citizens are approximately 21% of the current voting eligible population.

3)    What is the largest voting “bloc”?
Defining blocs is subjective and rarely do all in a given bloc vote the same (e.g.,. 32% of young voters chose McCain in 2008). However, trends do exist, and are influenced by generation. While there are 46 million young people eligible to vote, not all Millennials are currently of voting age. As a result, this group will grow larger as the full generation moves into age eligibility. This means that to some extent direct generational comparisons are not ‘apples to apples’.

The “Boomers” are between the ages of 47 and 66 right now, and they outnumber the 18-to-29 year-olds because they have two full decades of people who are eligible to vote. There are 39 million “Seniors” age 65 or over eligible to vote, less than the number of 18-to-29 year-olds.

Check out our homepage for an interactive map which shows you how many young people are eligible to vote in your state!

–Surbhi Godsay & Abby Kiesa

Note: Data in this post is CIRCLE analysis of the Census Current Population Survey (CPS) March 2011 Supplement.

4 Responses to “You Ask, We Answer: More Youth Eligible to Vote than Those Over 65”

  1. Kurston Says:

    What is the number of young people being disenfranchised by new voter ID laws?

  2. AEI Citizenship – Mid-week roundup Says:

    [...] States” before, but they’ve since come out with more information–including a comparison of the number of young (18-29 year old) voters to those over 65 (in case you were wondering, there [...]

  3. Ron Paul rallies youth support as some put enviro concerns on back burner Says:

    [...] to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, 46 million young people are eligible to vote in [...]

  4. L Henry Pratt Says:

    There are two categories that this brief report are combining, which I think clouds what you are trying to illustrate in this brief report. Generations are different from age groupings. Is it true that there are close to equal numbers of Baby Boomers (47+) and younger generations of voters (18-46)in the U.S. population?

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