How Old Do You Have to Be to Be President?

Crafting a Path to the Presidency as an American Citizen

Welcome, Asensio, to this informative article about the age requirements for the presidency in America. If you’re curious about this topic or considering running for president someday, you’ve come to the right place. Our mission is to provide comprehensive and accurate information about the minimum age and other essential features of presidential eligibility. Join us as we take a deep dive into how old you have to be to be president, the constitution’s provisions, and other critical factors that come into play.


The presidency of the United States is one of the most powerful and influential positions in the world. With great power, however, comes great responsibility, and the American people have high expectations of their leaders. The president must be an excellent communicator, visionary, and master strategist, among other things. However, before anyone can pursue this coveted position, they must first meet certain eligibility criteria, including the minimum age requirement.

To become president of the United States, one must be a natural-born citizen of the country, at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. In this article, we’ll focus on the age requirement and explain its significance and the reasoning behind it.

While it’s true that many young people are politically active and passionate, the drafters of the U.S. Constitution believed that a person needs to have a certain level of life experience and maturity to handle the presidency effectively. They set the minimum age limit at 35 years to ensure that candidates have the necessary wisdom, judgment, and knowledge to lead the country.

In this regard, the age requirement for the presidency is similar to that of other positions, such as senators and governors. However, the presidency’s age requirement is the most stringent, making it a significant milestone for anyone aspiring to become president of the United States.

The following sections of this article will explore the age requirement in more detail and provide additional context and information for anyone interested in presidential eligibility.

History of the Age Requirement for the Presidency

When the Constitution was drafted in 1787, the founding fathers wrestled with many issues, including how to choose the country’s leader. The age requirement was one such consideration, and it was set at 35 years for several reasons.

Firstly, the framers of the Constitution believed that a candidate had to be a certain age to have the knowledge and experience necessary to lead a nation. They felt that anyone younger than 35 would not have the maturity to handle the responsibility of the presidency effectively. In addition, candidates needed to have life experience to ensure that they could handle the diverse challenges that come with being president.

The age requirement came about through a compromise between those who felt that the minimum age should be higher and those who wanted a lower age limit. The Constitution’s drafters eventually settled on 35 to ensure that the president could serve for two consecutive terms, which was a maximum of eight years.

What Happens If a Presidential Candidate is Under 35?

If a presidential candidate is under 35 years, they cannot legally seek the presidency. The Constitution’s provisions are very clear on this point, and there are no exceptions or loopholes. Even if a candidate meets all of the other eligibility criteria, being under 35 disqualifies them from running for president.

It’s worth noting that the Constitution doesn’t set a maximum age limit for the presidency. As such, it’s theoretically possible for someone to run for and win the presidency at any age above 35. However, advanced age can be a significant challenge for presidential candidates, as it may reduce their energy, cognitive abilities, and overall health.

How Do U.S. Presidents Compare with Other Global Leaders?

In the United States, the age requirement for the presidency is relatively high compared to other countries. While several countries, such as Nigeria and Guatemala, have the same minimum age limit, most countries set the bar lower.

For example, in Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, the minimum age to become prime minister is 18, which is the legal age of adulthood in those countries. In France, Italy, and Germany, the minimum age for prime ministers and presidents is 35 years. In contrast, countries such as Ivory Coast, Maldives, and Iran have a minimum age limit of 40 years for their leaders.

Table: Minimum Age Requirements for Presidential Candidates in Selected Countries

Country Minimum Age Requirement
United States 35 years (minimum)
France 35 years (minimum)
Canada 18 years (minimum)
United Kingdom 18 years (minimum)
Ivory Coast 40 years (minimum)
Maldives 40 years (minimum)
Iran 40 years (minimum)


1. What Happens if a President-Elect Turns 35 After the Election?

If a presidential candidate turns 35 after they have won the election but before they take office, they are still eligible to become president.

2. Can Young People Run for Other Offices?

Yes, young people can run for other elected offices, such as Congress or state legislatures, as long as they meet the age and residency requirements.

3. Why is Being a Natural-Born Citizen Necessary for the Presidency?

The Constitution’s framers believed that the president should have undivided loyalty to the United States and not be influenced by foreign powers. Being a natural-born citizen ensured that the president was not beholden to any other country’s interests.

4. Has the Age Requirement for the Presidency Always Been 35?

No, the age requirement has been 35 since the Constitution was ratified in 1787. However, the 22nd Amendment, which was ratified in 1951, limited the number of terms a president could serve, thus increasing the minimum age limit’s practical significance.

5. Can a Person Run for President More Than Once?

Yes, a person can run for president more than once, but they cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. A person who has served two terms as president cannot seek re-election.

6. Can a President Serve More Than Two Terms if They Are Not Consecutive?

No, the 22nd Amendment prohibits presidents from serving more than two terms, regardless of whether they are consecutive or not.

7. Can a President Be Impeached for a Violation of the Age Requirement?

No, the Constitution does not provide for impeachment on the basis of age requirements. If a president were found to be ineligible due to age, they would be disqualified from serving, but there would be no impeachment proceedings.

8. Can Immigrants Become President if They Meet the Age Requirement?

No, only natural-born citizens are eligible to become president, which means that anyone who was not born in the United States does not qualify.

9. Can Felons Run for President?

Yes, there is no law prohibiting felons from running for president. However, many states have laws that prevent felons from voting or holding public office, which would impact their ability to run for president.

10. Can Women Run for President?

Yes, women can run for and hold the presidency, provided they meet the age and other eligibility requirements.

11. Does the Age Requirement Discriminate Against Young People?

Some people believe that the age requirement discriminates against young people who are politically active and engaged. However, the Constitution’s drafters believed that the presidency required a certain level of life experience and maturity, which they felt would only be present in older candidates.

12. Can a Person Change Their Name to Meet the Natural-Born Citizen Requirement?

No, changing one’s name does not make a person a natural-born citizen. To be eligible for the presidency, a person must have been born in the United States or be born to U.S. citizens abroad.

13. Can a President-Elect Be Disqualified for Any Other Reason?

Yes, a president-elect can be disqualified for other reasons, such as not meeting residency requirements or not being a natural-born citizen. However, there is no provision for disqualifying a president-elect due to their age.


Now that we’ve explored the age requirement for the presidency in detail, we hope you have a better understanding of what it takes to become president of the United States. While the minimum age may seem like a straightforward criterion, it reflects the Constitution’s framers’ wisdom and foresight in ensuring that presidential candidates have the necessary experience, maturity, and judgment to lead the country.

As you consider your future path, whether in politics or otherwise, we encourage you to remember the importance of wisdom, experience, and personal growth. Regardless of your age, you can always work to become the best version of yourself and contribute positively to society.

Thank you for reading this article, Asensio. We hope that it has been informative and helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Closing Statement and Disclaimer

Thank you for taking the time to read this article about the age requirement for the presidency. We hope that we have provided you with valuable information and insights into this critical aspect of American politics.

It’s important to note that the information in this article is accurate to the best of our knowledge and research. However, laws and regulations can change over time, so we encourage you to seek additional information or legal advice if you are considering running for president or are interested in this topic.

Additionally, while we have made every effort to provide reliable and unbiased information, this article represents our opinions and perspectives. It is not intended to serve as legal advice or political commentary. We encourage you to do your research and make informed decisions based on your unique circumstances and goals.

Thank you again for reading, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.