When asked about the ideal age of a president, around half of Americans (49%) say they prefer someone in their 50s, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand Americans’ views on their ideal age of a president as the 2024 presidential campaign begins. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,115 adults from June 5 to 11, 2023. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology.
Another 24% say it’s best for a president to be in their 60s, while 17% say they should be in their 40s.
Just 3% of Americans say they prefer a president to be in their 70s or older. An equally tiny share (3%) say it’s best for a president to be in their 30s. (The minimum age for a presidential candidate is 35.)
The survey asked Americans about the best age for presidents generally. It did not refer to President Joe Biden – at 80, the oldest president in U.S. history – or former President Donald Trump, who is 77.
Age differences in views of the ideal age for a president
Younger adults are more favorable than older Americans toward presidents being in their 30s and 40s. About half (48%) of adults under the age of 30 say it is ideal for a president to be in their 30s or 40s; only 6% of adults over the age of 50 share this view.
By contrast, older adults prefer a president who is in their 60s or older. For example, 41% of adults in their 50s or older say they prefer a president in their 60s or older. Only 11% of adults in their 30s or younger say the same.
Partisan views of the ideal age for a president
Democrats and Republicans have similar views about the best age range for a president.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are slightly more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners (25% vs. 15%) to prefer presidents in their 30s and 40s, while Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to prefer presidents in their 60s or older (32% vs. 24%). However, these minor differences are largely due to the age composition of the parties.
Among Democrats, views on the ideal age range for a president are similar to what they were during the 2020 presidential election cycle. The question was not asked of Republicans in the 2019 survey.