All the Presidents in Age Order

Feature and Cover All the Presidents in Age Order

The ages of U.S. Presidents have varied significantly over the years, changing with voting demographics and shifting societal attitudes toward age. Younger presidential candidates have been seen as symbols of change and energy, appealing to young voters or people seeking a fresh perspective. Older candidates have often brought decades of experience and a sense of maturity. Here is a full list of the ages of the U.S. Presidents at the time of their inauguration, listed from oldest to youngest, spanning an almost 40-year age difference, from 42 to 78.

Over 70

When 46th President Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20, 2021, he became the oldest U.S. President to date, at 78 years and 61 days old. Just four years prior, the second-oldest President, Donald Trump, was sworn in at 70 years and 220 days old. He was about 15 years older than the overall average presidential age of 55. Biden’s term punctuated a trend of increasingly older Presidents: The average age of Presidents elected between 1875 and 1899 was 53, whereas the average age between the late 1990s and today is 63. When the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution in 1787, they set 35 years as the minimum age to run for President; at the time, it was seen as a mature age due to lower life expectancy in the 1700s. Meanwhile, the oldest national leader in the world today is Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, at 91. To date, just two U.S. Presidents have been over 70 years old when inaugurated.

– Joe Biden (46th President) — 78 years, 61 days
– Donald J. Trump (45th President) — 70 years, 220 days

Over 60

More than 20% of U.S. Presidents were elected while in their 60s. Ronald Reagan, who was 69 at his first inauguration in 1981, faced public scrutiny for his age during both election campaigns, something that had not commonly been seen up until then. The concerns didn’t seem to matter much: Reagan went on to serve two terms and completed his presidency just shy of 78 years old. The shortest-serving U.S. President, William Henry Harrison, was just over 68 years old when he assumed office in 1841, but his term was cut short just a month later when he died of what is now believed to have been typhoid. Harrison was, at the time, the oldest President to serve in the Oval Office, and he held that record for 140 years until Reagan was elected. Of the first 10 American Presidents, just three were over 60; of the most recent 10, half were over 60. Here are the 10 U.S. Presidents who were in their 60s when they were inaugurated.

– Ronald Reagan (40th President) — 69 years, 348 days
– William Henry Harrison (9th President) — 68 years, 23 days
– James Buchanan (15th President) — 65 years, 315 days
– George H.W. Bush (41st President) — 64 years, 222 days
– Zachary Taylor (12th President) — 64 years, 100 days
– Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President) — 62 years, 98 days
– Andrew Jackson (7th President) — 61 years, 354 days
– John Adams (2nd President) — 61 years, 125 days
– Gerald R. Ford (38th President) — 61 years, 26 days
– Harry S. Truman (33rd President) — 60 years, 339 days

Over 50

Almost half of Americans surveyed by Pew Research in 2023 said that someone in their 50s was the ideal age for a President. It makes sense, then, that 55 is indeed the average age at inauguration — though only four Presidents were that exact age when sworn into office. They were Benjamin Harrison in 1889; Grover Cleveland, the only President to serve two nonconsecutive terms, at his second inauguration in 1893; Warren G. Harding in 1921; and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963. George W. Bush, part of one of only two father-son presidential duos, was 54 years old when he was sworn in as the 43rd President in 2001. His father, George H.W. Bush, was 10 years older than that when he was sworn in as the 41st President 12 years earlier in 1989. Of the 25 Presidents inaugurated in their 50s, three also died in their 50s while in office: 29th President William Harding, 25th President William McKinley, and 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Here is the list of Presidents who took office in their 50s.

– James Monroe (5th President) — 58 years, 310 days
– James Madison (4th President) — 57 years, 353 days
– Thomas Jefferson (3rd President) — 57 years, 325 days
– John Quincy Adams (6th President) — 57 years, 236 days
– George Washington (1st President) — 57 years, 68 days
– Andrew Johnson (17th President) — 56 years, 107 days
– Woodrow Wilson (28th President) — 56 years, 66 days
– Richard M. Nixon (37th President) — 56 years, 11 days
– Grover Cleveland (24th President) — 55 years, 351 days
– Benjamin Harrison (23rd President) — 55 years, 196 days
– Warren G. Harding (29th President) — 55 years, 122 days
– Lyndon B. Johnson (36th President) — 55 years, 87 days
– Herbert Hoover (31st President) — 54 years, 206 days
– George W. Bush (43rd President) — 54 years, 198 days
– Rutherford B. Hayes (19th President) — 54 years, 151 days
– Martin Van Buren (8th President) — 54 years, 89 days
– William McKinley (25th President) — 54 years, 34 days
– Jimmy Carter (39th President) — 52 years, 111 days
– Abraham Lincoln (16th President) — 52 years, 20 days
– Chester A. Arthur (21st President) — 51 years, 349 days
– William H. Taft (27th President) — 51 years, 170 days
– Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd President) — 51 years, 33 days
– Calvin Coolidge (30th President) — 51 years, 29 days
– John Tyler (10th President) — 51 years, 6 days
– Millard Fillmore (13th President) — 50 years, 183 days

Over 40

Despite the minimum age of 35 required for the job, no one in their 30s has ever been elected President of the United States. John F. Kennedy remains the youngest elected President in U.S. history; he was 43 years, 236 days old at his 1961 inauguration. Although Theodore Roosevelt was younger, at 42, when he took office, his presidency was assumed, not voted on, after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. Roosevelt remains the youngest person to ever become President. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both defeated candidates more than 20 years their senior in 1992 and 2008, respectively. Clinton was inaugurated at the age of 46 in 1993 (George H.W. Bush was 68 at the time), and Barack Obama was first inaugurated in 2009 at the age of 47 (his opponent, John McCain, was 72). Here are the nine Presidents inaugurated in their 40s.

– James K. Polk (11th President) — 49 years, 123 days
– James A. Garfield (20th President) — 49 years, 105 days
– Franklin Pierce (14th President) — 48 years, 101 days
– Grover Cleveland (22nd President) — 47 years, 351 days
– Barack Obama (44th President) — 47 years, 169 days
– Ulysses S. Grant (18th President) — 46 years, 311 days
– Bill Clinton (42nd President) — 46 years, 154 days
– John F. Kennedy (35th President) — 43 years, 236 days
– Theodore Roosevelt (26th President) — 42 years, 322 days

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