A strange thing is happening (in the 2010s and 2020s) in the US. The presidents – after Obama, 2017 – became older and older. When Donald Trump started to govern in 2017, he was 70 years old. In 2021, he lost the election, he was 74 then. He was replaced, by Joe Biden, who was 78 years old in 2021 (his first year in office).
Age records of Joe Biden
Joe Biden sets one age record after another as president:
Joe Biden is the oldest president the U.S. has ever had. When he started governing, he was already one year older than the previous oldest president on his last day in office. Ronald Reagon had his last day in office in 1989, when he was already 77 years old. Joe Biden is just beginning to govern at the age of 78.
Joe Biden is the first U.S. President to reach 80 years of age while in office. ALL other presidents were younger and left office sooner.
The second oldest president was Ronald Reagon. When he had his last day in office in 1989, he was already 77 years old.
The third-oldest president, by the time he left office, was Donald Trump. He left the Oval Office in 2021 at the age of 74.
If Donald Trump were to run for U.S. president in 2024, he would then be 78 years old.
If Joe Biden were to run for election again in 2024, he would then be 82 years old!
A question suggests itself:
Is the U.S. a gerontocracy?
After the incidents in July 2023 of the Senate members Dianne Feinstein (*1933) and Mitch McConnell (*1942) the question about the gerontocracy and whether so old humans should still hold important offices forces itself.
To recall: Mitch McConnell „froze“ in front of a running camera at a press conference. He just stood there, staring and not moving his face.
Dianne Feinstein had to be told how to vote during a vote. She didn’t know what to say anymore.
Here’s a little statistic: The average age in the U.S. House of Representatives is 58.4. The average age of members of the German Bundestag is 47.3, a good 11 years less.
The U.S. Senate is even older. There, the average age is 65.3 years. (All as of 2022/2023)
So: Eat the old (politicians)?
But there is a pro-argument for such old politicians: through advances in medicine, nutrition and little hard physical work, people today can grow older and be fit longer.
Age of US presidents when taking office and leaving office between 1945 and 2024
There is also another trend among presidents:
After Barack Obama and Donald Trump, there was a step backward. Both belong to the Baby Boomers, although Donald Trump is hard on the edge of the Silent Generation. Joe Biden is clearly part of the Silent Generation.
Where does that leave a Gen X president?
Age of U.S. presidents when they took office and when they left office between 1945 and 2024 as a table:
|President||Inauguration Year||Departure Year||Age Inauguration||Age Departure||Generation|
|Harry S. Truman||1945||1953||60||68||Lost Generation|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower:||1953||1961||62||70||Lost Generation|
|John F. Kennedy||1961||1963||43||46|
|Lyndon B. Johnson||1963||1969||55||60|
|George H. W. Bush||1989||1993||64||68|
|Bill Clinton||1993||2001||46||54||Baby Boomer|
|George W. Bush||2001||2009||54||62||Baby Boomer|
|Barack Obama||2009||2017||47||55||Baby Boomer|
|Donald Trump||2017||2021||70||74||Baby Boomer|
Info: The Lost Generation generally includes those born from 1883 to 1900, the Greatest Generation includes those born from 1901 to 1927 and the Silent Generation includes those born from 1928 to 1945. The Baby Boomer Generation generally includes those born in the years 1946 to 1964.