Conservative Logic

An economic guide to politics, designed for post-Baby Boomers

The Demographics of American Gerontocracy

Posted by A Hamilton on April 13, 2008

The political strength of older voters is fairly well understood in this country. That being said, I thought I would present the actual figures just for the sake of complete clarity. This information is based on data available from the US Census Bureau and covers the 2004 election time frame.

US by Age and Voting Pattern

As you can see from these two pie charts, 60% of the voting population is 40 or older. So purely from a demographic perspective, younger voters are simply outnumbered. Beyond this, people who are 40 or older actually represent a disproportionate percentage of actual voting –67% to be exact. Basically, what this boils down to is that the average voter who is 40 or older is 40.6% more likely on average to vote than a voter under 40.

Here’s how the voting breaks down specifically by major age category:

Voting by Age

Older voters possess overwhelming demographic strength, and they are also more likely to vote than younger voters. The net result is a government which represents their interests at the expense of younger voters. Again, I don’t ascribe any specific malicious intent by older voters to take from younger voters — I think that is just the unfortunate natural outcome given our system of democracy and the way it reflects voting and special interests.

This problem is exacerbated by the simple fact that younger voters generally don’t vote their own economic interests. My next blog post will address this peculiar, self-destructive behavior — its sources, its impact, and how Republicans need to make their message more appealing so that this group understands where its best interests are properly aligned.



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