Story in Numbers: 70+ for MLAs - Tamil Nadu, Kerala elect older leaders

In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the new legislative Assemblies have a larger number of MLAs who are above 70 than before. West Bengal, on the other hand, has elected fewer above 70 and a larger number in the age group 25-40, the election data shows.


In Kerala, the number of MLAs in the 25-40 age group has come down from 11 to 9. This is a state which reveres age: Former chief minister V S Achuthanandan was chief minister until his late eighties.


In comparison, Barack Obama was 47 when he became US president. His French counterpart François Hollande was 58. David Cameron was 43 when sworn in as UK prime minister. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is serving his second term at 49.


India, with its median age of 26, has had a tradition of being ruled by men well past 65, the country's average male life expectancy. For the last 20 years, the average age of Lok Sabha MPs has always been above 50. According to Census 2011, around 11 per cent of the Indian population comes in the age bracket of 25-30. In Lok Sabha 2019, hardly 1.5 per cent MPs came in this age group. As we go up the age pyramid, the percentage of Indian population decreases, but the percentage of MPs increases. The maximum MPs (16 per cent) come from the 51-55 age group.


The profile of candidates elected in the last round of Assembly elections, reflects this trend.

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