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How Current U.S. Presidential Candidates Stack Up Against Past Presidents and Contemporary World Leaders in Age

Updated: Jun 26

Age for Current & Past US Presidents VS World Leaders and Lifespan

The 2024 presidential race is heating up, with Donald Trump and Joe Biden as the key contenders. Both have held the highest office in the United States, but how do they compare to past Presidents and current world leaders in age? LandGate provided visualizations for age vs the average lifespan for historical and contemporary figures, but the most interesting thing is that either candidate, if re-elected will be given the title of the oldest U.S. president at inauguration.


The Age Factor 


One of the most discussed aspects of both Biden and Trump's candidacies is their age and there is currently no age limit to serve as President in the U.S.

Here's a detailed look:


How old is Joe Biden?


  • Current Age: 81 (born November 20, 1942)

  • Oldest U.S. President: Biden became the oldest American president when he assumed office at the age of 78 years and two months. If re-elected Biden would be 82 at the time of inauguration.

  • Global Ranking: According to Pew Research Center, Biden is the ninth oldest national leader in the world.


How old is Donald Trump?


  • Current Age: 78 (born June 14, 1946)

  • Oldest Presidents List: If re-elected, Trump would overtake Biden as the oldest person to assume the U.S. presidency with an age of 78 years and 6 months at the time of inauguration.

  • Global Ranking: Trump would be amongst the nine oldest national leaders in the world if re-elected according to Pew Research Center.



List of Oldest US Presidents by Age at Inauguration Date


President

Age at Inauguration

Birth Date

Inauguration Date

Average Lifespan at Inauguration*

Date of Death (if applicable)

Joe Biden

78 years

November 20, 1942

January 20, 2021

~78.9 years (2021)

-

Donald Trump

70 years

June 14, 1946

January 20, 2017

~78.8 years (2017)

-

Ronald Reagan

69 years

February 6, 1911

January 20, 1981

~73.7 years (1981)

June 5, 2004 (aged 93)

William Henry Harrison

68 years

February 9, 1773

March 4, 1841

~67.7 years (1841)

April 4, 1841 (aged 68)

James Buchanan

65 years

April 23, 1791

March 4, 1857

~68.2 years (1857)

June 1, 1868 (aged 77)

George H. W. Bush

64 years

June 12, 1924

January 20, 1989

~74.9 years (1989)

November 30, 2018 (aged 94)

Zachary Taylor

64 years

November 24, 1784

March 4, 1849

~67.7 years (1849)

July 9, 1850 (aged 65)

Dwight D. Eisenhower

62 years

October 14, 1890

January 20, 1953

~68.2 years (1953)

March 28, 1969 (aged 78)

Andrew Jackson

61 years

March 15, 1767

March 4, 1829

~62.6 years (1829)

June 8, 1845 (aged 78)


*Sources

National Center for Health Statistics. Life expectancy.

  1. Harvard Health. Why is life expectancy in the US declining?

  2. Goldman L. Three stages of health encounters over 8000 human generations and how they inform future public health. Am J Public Health. 2018 January;108(1):60–62. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304164

  3. Beltrán-Sáncheza H, Crimmins E, Finch C. Early cohort mortality predicts the rate of aging in the cohort: a historical analysisJ Dev Orig Health Dis. 2012;3(5):380–386. doi:10.1017/S2040174412000281

  4. Caspari R, Lee SH. Is human longevity a consequence of cultural change or modern biologyAm J Phys Anthropol. 2006;129(4):512–517. doi:10.1002/ajpa.20360

  5. Scientific American. The evolution of grandparents.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. History of smallpox.

  7. Tulchinsky TH, Varakova EA. A history of public health. New Publ Health. 2014:1–42. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-415766-8.00001-X

  8. Hogan DP, Kertzer DI. The social bases of declining infant mortality: lessons from a nineteenth-century Italian town. Eur J Popul. 1987 May;2(3-4):361-85. doi:10.1007/BF01796597

  9. Hollingsworth TH. Demographic study of the British Ducal families. In: Population in Industrialisation. London: Methuen & Co; 1969.

  10. Central Intelligence Agency. Country comparison: life expectancy at birth.

  11. National Center for Health Statistics. Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the second year in a row in 2021.

  12. Olshansky SJ, Carnes BA. The future of human longevityInt Handbook Population Aging. 2009:731-45. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8356-3_33

  13. Lichtenberg K. Reversing the decreasing life expectancy: a national health priority. Mo Med. 2022 Jul-Aug;119(4):321-23, 333.


List of Contemporary World Leaders and Their Ages

(Older and Prominent)


World Leader

Age (as of June 2024) or Age at Time of Death

Birth Date

Date of Death (if applicable)

Average Life Expectancy*

Queen Elizabeth II (UK)

96 years

April 21, 1926

September 8, 2022

80.70 years (2021)

Paul Biya (Cameroon)

91 years

February 13, 1933

-

60.33 years (2021)

Fidel Castro (Cuba)

90 years

August 13, 1926

25 November, 2016

73.68 years (2021)

Mahmoud Abbas (Palestine)

88 years

1935

-

73.47 years (2021)

Salman of Saudi Arabia

88 years

December 31, 1935

-

76.94 years (2021)

Pope Francis (Rome)

87 years

December 17, 1936

-

83.71 years (2021)

Harald V of Norway

87 years

February 21, 1937

-

83.16 years (2021)

Ali Khamenei (Iran)

85 years

April 19, 1939

-

73.88 years (2021)

Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Kuwait)

83 years

September 27, 1940

-

78.67 years (2021)


*Sources

Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Arias E. Deaths: Final data for 2021. National Vital Statistics Reports. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2024. [Forthcoming].

  1. Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2021. NCHS Data Brief, no 456. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:122516.

  2. World Health Organization. International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision (ICD–10). 5th ed. 2016.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC WONDER. Single-race population estimates, 2010–2022.

  4. Curtin SC, Tejada-Vera B, Bastian BA, Berruti AA. Deaths: Leading causes for 2021. National Vital Statistics Reports. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2024. [Forthcoming].

  5. Arias E. United States life tables, 2008. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 61 no 3. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.

  6. Arias E, Heron M, Hakes JK. The validity of race and Hispanic-origin reporting on death certificates in the United States: An update. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 2(172). 2016.

  7. Arias E, Xu JQ, Curtin S, Bastian B, Tejada-Vera B. Mortality profile of the non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native population, 2019. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 70 no 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:110370.

  8. Arias E, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD. United States life tables, 2021. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 72 no 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2023. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:132418.


Age Vs. Average Lifespan for U.S. Presidents


While age provides an interesting metric, it's also insightful to consider how that relates to the average lifespan of the served term. Since the average lifetime has increased over the decades, we can compare the average lifespans of past U.S. presidents with their time period of average lifespan. Doing this we can create a figurative visual for each. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average lifespan of a U.S. citizen is approximately 77 years as of 2021. However, in Andrew Jackson's time period of his presidential term, the estimated average lifespan was more like 62 years.




Oldest Presidents Ages Compared with Average Lifespan


According to that comparison, one can see that relative to the average life span, all of the oldest U.S. presidents were serving at a very ripe age even for their time period. Leaders inherently receive better care, have more power, and will therefore live longer than an average citizen. When comparing US leaders to world leaders, U.S. contenders are significantly less elderly.


Conclusion of the Presidential Candidates

Trump and Biden, both in their later years, stand out as some of the oldest presidential candidates in U.S. history. Either candidate will take or keep the title as the oldest President at the time of inauguration if re-elected. Their age brings experience but also raises questions about energy and longevity. Comparing them to past U.S. presidents and current world leaders provides valuable context for understanding their potential impacts if elected.


LandGate is not politically affiliated and does not promote any candidate or party. LandGate is a free data intelligence and property marketplace for the home of the brave and the land of the free!


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