Meet 14 of the youngest politicians around the world

Thierry Monasse/Getty ImagesFinland’s new Prime Minister-elect Sanna Mirella Marin.
  • 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.
  • Finland will soon have the world’s youngest sitting prime minister when 34-year-old Sanna Marin officially takes office later this week.
  • 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.
  • Visit for more stories.

The past several years have seen a marked increase in young people getting involved in politics and running for office around the world.

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. Many other 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 such as Finland’s Sanna Marin, 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, Australia, and New Zealand, young people are rising up through the ranks of government, and making history.

Here are some of the youngest politicians around the world.

At 34, Sanna Marin will be Finland’s youngest prime minister ever, and the country’s third female prime minister.

ReutersThe candidate for the next prime minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, after the SDP’s prime minister candidate vote in Helsinki, Finland, December 8, 2019.

Source: Business Insider

In 2017, former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was the youngest serving world leader. He was elected at age 30.

Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty ImagesSebastian Kurz, Austrian Foreign Minister and leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (OeVP) speaks at the party’s election event.

Source: TIME

In November 2018, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, and Abby Finkenauer, 30, made history as the youngest and second-youngest women elected to the United States Congress.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisL to R: Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota, Kim Schrier of Washington, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Debbie Mucrasel-Powell of Florida, Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, and Sharice Davids of Kansas.

Source: ThinkProgress

In Italy, Luigi DiMaio became a rising star of the populist Five Star movement. The 33-year-old currently serves as a foreign minister. Before that, he was deputy prime minister at 31.

REUTERS/Max Rossi/File PhotoItalian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaks at the 5-Star Movement party’s open-air rally at Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy, October 21, 2018

Sources: Washington Post, AFP

Mark Okoye is Nigeria’s youngest commissioner, as the Economic Planning and Budget commissioner for Anambara State. He was sworn in at age 30.

Screenshot via YouTube/Anambra Broadcasting ServiceMark Okoye.

Source: Nigerian Monitor

Mhairi Black, a British member of parliament from Scotland, was first elected at the age of 20 in 2015 — making her the youngest MP since 1667.

REUTERS/Russell CheyneMember of Parliament, Mhairi Black speaks at the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in Glasgow, Scotland, October 10, 2017

Source: The Independent

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.

Screenshot via Kenya Citizen TVNaisula Lesuuda

Source: 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.

GILLES BASSIGNAC/AFP/Getty ImagesFrench La Republique en Marche (REM) party youngest Member of Parliament, Typhanie Degois poses for a picture in the garden of the French national assembly on June 24, 2017 in Paris

Source: 20Minutes

Edison Broce, 29, 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.

Panama National AssemblyEdison Broce.

Sources: University of Oxford, Financial Times

Senator Jordon Steele-John, elected in 2017 at the age of 22, is currently the youngest member of Australia’s parliament. He is also the first with a disability.

Michael Masters/Getty ImagesSenator Jordan Steele-John makes a point of order during the debate of the marriage equality bill in the Senate at Parliament House on November 29, 2017 in Canberra, Australia

Sources: Parliament of Australia,The Australian

At age 25, Malaysian Youth & Sports minister Syed Saddiq was the youngest-ever person to serve in the government of Malaysia’s cabinet. He’s now 27.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty ImagesYB Tuan Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman of Malaysia (Minister of Malaysia Youth and Sports) looks on during the Press Conference and signing ceremony Sepang International Circuit and Yamaha Motor Company before the qualifying practice during the MotoGP Of Malaysia.

Source: South China Morning Post

Ebba Hermansson of Sweden was also elected to her country’s parliament at age 22 in 2018.

Screenshot via Expressen TVEbba Hermansson

Source: Sveriges Radio

So was New Zealand MP Chloe Swarbrick, well known for her viral “ok boomer,” call earlier this year. She was elected to parliament when she was 23 — the country’s youngest in 42 years.

Phil Walter / GettyGreen Party candidate Chloe Swarbrick during the 2017 Green Party Conference at AUT Auckland during the 2017 Green Party Conference on July 16, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Sources: Stuff, The Guardian

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.

ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty ImagesNagua Alba, centre, in a 2016 press conference.

Source: El Pais

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.