News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » Registered Youth Voters Hits Decades-Low

Registered Youth Voters Hits Decades-Low

By Samreen Wani
Last updated on: April 29, 2024 08:54 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

The share of such voters has shrunk to 1.9 per cent of registered voters in 2024 from 2.7 per cent in 2014.

IMAGE: Gurukul School of Art students with face paint create voting awareness for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai, April 25, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

For the twelve years that Anshika studied in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly, she often took her bicycle to school.

"But it would get punctured frequently because of the bad roads in my area," she says.

Now, 21 and a college student in Mumbai, Anshika is still impatient with the pace of infrastructural development in her constituency and wants the government to do better.

She forms part of a shrinking minority of the youth who are coming of voting age in the ongoing elections.

A smaller proportion of the voting age population belong to the age group of the youth between 18 and 29 years old, than has been the case since the 1970s.

Around 29.8 per cent of those who are of voting age are between 18 and 29 years old, the lowest since 1971 when it was at 28.5 per cent, shows an analysis of population data from the United Nations.

It has been above 30 per cent for the elections between 1977 to 2019.

However, the absolute number of the young continue to increase. They will account for over 300 million, close to the entire population of the United States of America (chart 1).

This refers only to the proportion of electorate eligible to vote and not the actual list of registered voters.

As per data from the Election Commission of India, there are nearly 20 million voters aged between 18 and 19 years registered for the general elections.

But the share of such voters has shrunk to 1.9 per cent of registered voters in 2024 from 2.7 per cent in 2014.

The youngest cohort of the youth vote (18 to 22 years) accounts for nearly 13 per cent of the total voting population.

Just 6.5 per cent of the electorate in Russia, which recently held its elections, was of the same age.

It would be 7 to 8 per cent of the voters in the UK and the US. Both countries will enter polls later this year.

Within India's neighbourhood, Pakistan and Bangladesh had a higher share, and this also applies to women of this age group (charts 2, 3).


"All political parties during their campaigns, at least in rhetoric, talk about youth, young voters and why they should be part of politics. And though all political parties have student wings and youth wings, those who lead these wings are in their mid-thirties and above," notes Rahul Verma, political scientist, and a fellow at the New Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Policy Research.

"Beyond rhetoric I haven't seen any serious measure by political parties to mobilise these young voters," Verma said.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has launched various campaigns, like the 'Turning 18' campaign, on its social media platforms to increase young voter engagement.

"For now, I am not impressed with the performance of any political party," says Anshika.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Samreen Wani
Source: source
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024