- From Europe to the United States to Africa, the last decade has seen more young people getting actively involved in politics and even becoming elected officials themselves.
- The world’s current youngest leader is Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, 32.
- In the United States, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 29. Many nations have members of parliament who are as young as 22.
- Here are some of the youngest politicians around the world.
The past several years have seen a marked increase in young people getting involved in politics and running for office from the United States to Europe and Africa.
In Europe, the aftermath of the global financial crisis inspired both right-wing populist movements led by young people, like the Five Star movement in Italy, and left-wing populist movements including Spain’s Podemos party.
In the United States, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 29, but many nations have members of parliament who are as young as 22.
The last American election cycle saw the number of millennials increase by over 300% in the US Congress, with around 700 millennials running for state legislative seats around the country.
And in Europe, more leaders under the age of 40 like Austria’s Sebastian Kurz, France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Ireland’s Leo Varadkar have come to power, and parliaments in countries like France and Spain are getting younger and more diverse.
In Africa, Asia, and Australia, young people are also running for office, rising up through the ranks of government, and making history.
Here are some of the youngest politicians around the world:
At age 32, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is the youngest currently-serving world leader. He was elected at age 30 in 2017.
The second-youngest world leader is 34-year-old Luca Santolini, a Capitan regent of San Marino.
Source: Corriere Romagna
In November, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, and Abby Finkenauer, 30, made history as the youngest and second-youngest women elected to the United States Congress.
In Italy, Luigi DiMaio became a rising star of the populist Five Star movement and currently serves as a deputy prime minister at just 31 years old.
Mark Okeye, 32, is Nigeria’s youngest commissioner as Economic Planning and Budget commissioner for Anambara State.
Mhairi Black, a British member of parliament from Scotland, was first elected at the age of 20 in 2015 — making her the youngest-ever MP to serve in the history of the House of Commons since 1832.
Kenyan National Assembly member and former journalist Naisula Lesuuda, 34, was the youngest member to serve in Kenya’s Senate at age 29 in 2013.
Kenya Citizen TV
In 2017, law student Typhanie Degois became the youngest member of France’s parliament at age 24. She was one of several new lawmakers elected from Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party.
Edison Broce, 27, is the youngest lawmaker in Panama’s national assembly. He also holds a master’s in public policy from Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government.
University of Oxford
Senator Jordon Steele-John, elected in 2017 at the age of 22, is currently the youngest member of Australia’s parliament.
Parliament of Australia
At age 25, Malaysian Youth & Sports minister Syed Saddiq is the youngest-ever person to serve in the government of Malaysia’s cabinet.
South China Morning Post
Ebba Hermansson of Sweden was also elected to her country’s parliament at age 22.
Source: Sveriges Radio
Egyptian-Spanish politician Nagua Alba was elected to Spain’s parliament at age 25 in 2015. She became not only the youngest member of parliament, but the first member of Arab descent.
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