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What is the age requirement to be elected president of the United States?

There are restrictions on who can and cannot become president of the US with an important one being the age of the candidate in question.

US President Joe Biden attends the Extraordinary Summit of the NATO Bucharest Nine (B9) at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw on February 22, 2023. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The US has an aging political class. In 2020, Joe Biden became the oldest person to be elected president aged 78 and the last US Congress had average ages of 58 and 64 for the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively.

This is a stark contrast to the ages of many presidents and elected officials in history. Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest US president at the age of 42, after President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He served as president from 1901 to 1909. John F. Kennedy was the youngest president to be elected to office, at the age of 43. He served as president from 1961 until his assassination two years later.

According to the United States Constitution, a person must be at least 35 years old to be eligible to run for president.

What are the other requirements to be eligible to be elected as president?

These requirements are outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution:

  • The aforementioned age requirement.
  • Natural-born citizen requirement: To be eligible for the Presidency, a person must be a natural-born citizen of the United States. This means that they were born in the United States or were born to at least one parent who was a U.S citizen at the time of their birth. For example, former President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, which is a US state, and his mother was a US citizen, so he meets the natural-born citizen requirement.
  • Residency requirement: A person must have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years to be eligible to be elected as President, though they do not need to be consecutive.

Though not strictly a requirement, it is important to mention the US constitution’s limits. The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1951, limits Presidents to two terms in office.