In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, concerns were raised that both candidates may be too old to hold office. Both Joe Biden, 78, and Donald Trump, 75, would have been the oldest sitting president ever as of Inauguration Day 2025, eclipsing the record held by Ronald Reagan.
Having an older leader has advantages and disadvantages. Voters tend to like politicians with experience and a track record of success. Older leaders have had the time to build up knowledge and experience that can help them accomplish their policy goals. On the other hand, they may be more likely to struggle with health issues, face concerns about how fit they are for office, and may struggle to connect with younger citizens. There are dozens of world leaders who are well into their 70s or their 80s.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the ages of heads of state to determine the countries with the oldest leaders. Only leaders who administer the executive duties of their government were considered.
The world’s oldest leaders have all had different paths to the top of their nation’s government. Some have built up political experience and won an election. Others are monarchs who ascended to their throne following the death of a family member.
A handful of the world’s oldest rulers seized power by force or election tampering and have refused to let it go for decades. In many of these cases, rulers forced out political opponents, bribed allies, and changed the laws governing their country to allow them to stay in power indefinitely. These are the most corrupt countries in the world.