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Minimum Voting Age

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

Click on a country for details.

Voting Age by Country 2024

Voting is a critical part of any democracy. But not every country provides the right to do so at the same age. In fact, it can vary by several years from nation to nation.

Several countries allow voting as young as age 16. These include Brazil and Argentina (where voting is mandatory from ages 18-70), Ecuador (mandatory voting for 18- to 65-year-olds), Cuba, Austria, and Nicaragua. These earliest vote-granting nations tend to be concentrated in central and South America, though smaller countries like Malta, Jersey, and the Isle of Man also allow 16-year-olds to vote. A smaller group allows voting to begin at age 17, including North Korea, Greece, and Indonesia (which allows married people of any age to vote.)

The voting age in the bulk of countries around the world sits at 18. More than 85 percent of nations fall into this group, likely covering that percentage of the world's population or more. These include the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Australia, Peru, Chile, Israel, South Africa, and many more.

The Solomon Islands is the only country to grant voting rights at age 19, while just four, including Taiwan, allow it at age 20.

21 is the final common age when voting is allowed in countries around the world. Bringing up the rear, this group is typically made up of smaller or more politically conservative nations like Kuwait, Singapore, Oman, and Samoa. The United Arab Emirates has the highest voting age in the world at 25, four years later than the next closest country.

A notable number of countries include some restrictions, which may include compulsory voting, a lower voting age for local or regional elections, or different rules for the military, police, or married individuals. Some rules may reflect local customs or traditions, like 16-year-old Serbians, Slovenians, and other Balkan country residents being allowed to vote if they're employed.

In any case, it's vital to remember these varying ages when sizing up various aspects of a democracy's political participation.

Notes:
- All ages accurate as of 2023

Download Table Data

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Country
Minimum Voting Age
Additional Details
United Arab Emirates25
But at least 25 for membership of the Electoral College, which consists of a significant minority of...
Singapore21
Lebanon21
Oman21
Except for members of the military and police.
Kuwait21
For those not in the military or police forces; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years; cur...
Samoa21
Tonga21
Tokelau21
Cameroon20
Taiwan20
18 for referendums (since 2017); voting age lowered to 18 by the Legislative Yuan in 2022, referendu...
Bahrain20
Nauru20
Solomon Islands19
India18
China18
United States18
However, in many states, persons 17 years of age are permitted to vote in primary elections if they ...
Pakistan18
Reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims
Nigeria18
Bangladesh18
Russia18
Ethiopia18
Mexico18
Japan18
Lowered from 20 in June 2016. The voting age for constitutional referendums was lowered from 20 to 1...
Philippines18
For youth councils: 15 to 30
Egypt18
DR Congo18
Vietnam18
Iran18
Changed from 15 to 18 in 2007, returned to 15 in 2009 and returned to 18 in 2011.
Turkey18
Germany18
Voting age 16 for state elections: Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-...
Thailand18
Being a Thai citizen since birth, or at least 5 years
Tanzania18
United Kingdom18
18 for United Kingdom wide general elections to the House of Commons.16 for the Scottish independenc...
France18
South Africa18
Italy18
Lowered from 21 in 1975 for Chamber of Deputies elections and referendums, and from 25 in 2021 for S...
Kenya18
Myanmar18
Colombia18
South Korea18
Lowered from 19 in December 2019.
Uganda18
Sudan18
Spain18
Iraq18
Algeria18
Poland18
Canada18
Morocco18
Ukraine18
Angola18
Saudi Arabia18
Uzbekistan18
Yemen18
Mozambique18
Ghana18
Peru18
Universal and compulsory until the age of 70; (members of the military and national police could not...
Malaysia18
Nepal18
Madagascar18
Ivory Coast18
Venezuela18
Niger18
Australia18
Compulsory
Syria18
Mali18
Burkina Faso18
Sri Lanka18
Malawi18
Zambia18
Kazakhstan18
Chile18
Romania18
Planned lowering of the voting age to 16 (for local elections and for European Parliament elections)...
Chad18
Somalia18
Guatemala18
Active-duty members of the armed forces may not vote and are restricted to their barracks on electio...
Senegal18
Netherlands18
Cambodia18
Zimbabwe18
Guinea18
Rwanda18
Benin18
Burundi18
Bolivia18
Universal and compulsory
Tunisia18
With some exceptions
Haiti18
Belgium18
16 in European elections
Dominican Republic18
Married persons regardless of age (members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote)
Jordan18
South Sudan18
Honduras18
Sweden18
Papua New Guinea18
Czech Republic18
Azerbaijan18
Tajikistan18
Portugal18
Hungary18
Belarus18
Israel18
17 for municipal elections; 17 year olds can also vote in national elections held after their 18th H...
Togo18
Sierra Leone18
Switzerland18
16 for cantonal and municipal elections in the canton of Glarus.
Laos18
Hong Kong18
Direct election 18 years of age; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong K...
Serbia18
16 if employed
Libya18
Paraguay18
Universal and compulsory until the age of 75
Kyrgyzstan18
Bulgaria18
Turkmenistan18
El Salvador18
Republic of the Congo18
Denmark18
Central African Republic18
Slovakia18
Finland18
Liberia18
Norway18
However, persons 17 years of age are permitted to vote in parliamentary elections if they will be 18...
Palestine18
West Bank and Gaza.
New Zealand18
Costa Rica18
Ireland18
Mauritania18
Panama18
Croatia18
16 if employed
Eritrea18
Georgia18
Mongolia18
Uruguay18
Moldova18
Puerto Rico18
Island residents are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections. 16-year-olds may vote...
Bosnia and Herzegovina18
16 if employed
Gambia18
Albania18
Jamaica18
Armenia18
Qatar18
Botswana18
Lithuania18
Namibia18
Gabon18
Lesotho18
Guinea Bissau18
Slovenia18
16 if employed
North Macedonia18
Latvia18
Equatorial Guinea18
Trinidad and Tobago18
Estonia18
16 for local elections
Mauritius18
Cyprus18
Eswatini18
Djibouti18
Reunion18
Fiji18
As of 2013 Constitution
Comoros18
Guyana18
Bhutan18
Macau18
Direct election 18 years of age, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past seve...
Luxembourg18
Compulsory until the age of 75. A proposal to lower the voting age to 16 was rejected in 2015 in a n...
Suriname18
Montenegro18
Cape Verde18
Maldives18
Brunei18
Village elections only
Belize18
Bahamas18
Guadeloupe18
Iceland18
Martinique18
Mayotte18
Vanuatu18
French Guiana18
French Polynesia18
New Caledonia18
Barbados18
Sao Tome and Principe18
Curacao18
Saint Lucia18
Guam18
US citizens, but do not vote in US presidential elections
Kiribati18
Grenada18
Micronesia18
Seychelles18
Aruba18
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines18
United States Virgin Islands18
Island residents are U.S. citizens but do not vote in U.S. presidential elections.
Antigua and Barbuda18
Andorra18
Dominica18
Cayman Islands18
Bermuda18
Greenland18
Faroe Islands18
Northern Mariana Islands18
Indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Saint Kitts and Nevis18
Turks and Caicos Islands18
Sint Maarten18
American Samoa18
Marshall Islands18
Liechtenstein18
Compulsory
Monaco18
San Marino18
Gibraltar18
Universal, plus other British citizens who have been residents six months or more
British Virgin Islands18
Palau18
Cook Islands18
Anguilla18
Tuvalu18
Wallis and Futuna18
Saint Pierre and Miquelon18
Montserrat18
Falkland Islands18
Niue18
Indonesia17
No threshold for married persons. The military and police cannot vote.
North Korea17
Members of the military have the right to vote, regardless of age.
Greece17
17 from July 2016 onwards, was 18 prior. People that turn 17 in the year of the elections can also v...
Timor Leste17
Brazil16
Compulsory for 18 to 70; optional for illiterate citizens.
Argentina16
Compulsory between 18 and 70. However, persons 15 years of age are permitted to vote in primary elec...
Ecuador16
Universal, compulsory for literate persons ages 18–65, optional for other eligible voters
Cuba16
Austria16
Nicaragua16
Malta16
Jersey16
Isle of Man16
Guernsey16
Afghanistan
No elections
showing: 230 rows

Which country has the lowest voting age?

Many countries, including Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, Austria, Nicaragua, Malta, Jersey, Isle of Man, and Guernsey, have a minimum voting age of 16, which is the lowest minimum voting age in the world.

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