Source: 
News18
https://www.news18.com/india/18th-lok-sabha-one-for-the-ages-india-gets-its-oldest-parliament-in-history-8933012.html
Author: 
Nivedita Singh
Date: 
15.06.2024
City: 
New Delhi

The average age of MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha is 56 years, up from 55 years in 2019 and the highest ever

India is considered one of the youngest nations in the world but its Lok Sabha doesn’t seem to reflect that. The average age of MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha is 56 years, up from 55 years in 2019 and the highest in history. This is the second time that the average age of the Lok Sabha has gone above 55 years. In 1999, the average age of the MPs was 55.5 years, as per data from the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

One important aspect of this Lok Sabha is that at least 25 MPs are below the age of 35 years, up from 21 in 2019. Also, the count of those above the age of 66 years has come down to 105 from 116 in 2019. This time, a total of 11 MPs are above the age of 76 years and 94 are between 66 and 75 years, data from the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows.

In 2024, a total of 280 MPs – more than half – are above the age of 55, and 381 above 50. A total of 215 MPs are above 61 years. At least 263 MPs are between 25 and 55 years and 104 MPs are younger than 45.

Back in 1951-52, India’s first Lok Sabha elections, the average of the MPs was 46.5 years – second youngest to date. A total of 82 MPs were below the age of 35, the highest to date. That means roughly every sixth MP was below 35 years old. In 2024, every 20th MP is below the age of 35, while the country has seen the worst share of the youth over the years.

The analysis of ADR data clubbed with that from the Lok Sabha Secretariat, done by News18, also shows that the short-lived Lok Sabha elected in 1998 was the youngest to date, with the average age of MPs 46.4 years. The average age of the Lok Sabha MPs is calculated by dividing the total age of all the MPs by their total number.

The oldest MP in the current Lok Sabha is DMK’s TR Baalu at 82 years, elected from Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur. He is also the sole MP above the age of 80 years. The second spot is taken by Awadhesh Prasad, elected from Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad. The Samajwadi Party lawmaker is 79 years old. Jitan Ram Manjhi of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) is the third oldest man in the House. The MP from Gaya is 78 years old.

Three MPs are 25 – the minimum age for contesting the polls. Two of these are from the Samajwadi Party – Priya Saroj from Machhlishahr and Pushpendra Saroj from Kaushambi. Shambhavi from Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), elected from Samastipur in Bihar is also 25 years old.

In total, there are seven candidates below the age of 30 years. Three from the Congress, three from SP, and one from Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). As per the ADR data, Congress has the highest number of MPs below the age of 35 years at six. The BJP and SP were next with four MPs each.

The average age of the MPs, despite more younger leaders, is higher as those above the age of 55 are more than in 2019. The data also shows that the highest number of MPs, 175, were in the age group of 56 and 65 years, also highest in the last four Lok Sabha elections. In 2014 also 175 MPs were in the same age group. However, the overall average age of the MPs in 2014 was lower as just 71 MPs were in the next 10 years age group (66-75 years), but in 2024, this number is 94.

Another aspect of this election was that the number of MPs above the age of 75 is the lowest since 2009. This time just 11 MPs are over 76 years old, down from 13 in 2019 and 2014 each, and 16 in 2009.

Depending on the nature of the job, the normal retirement age in Indian offices is between 60 and 65 years. But when it comes to politics, 50 or 60 years is considered very young.

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