Since 1824, when the famous vote was first used to identify the as whole winner in U.S. Presidential elections, the share of the populace who take part in these elections has progressively increased. Despite this increase, participation has never reached fifty percent of the full population; partly as result of the re-superstructure of the population below the voting age of eighteen, but also as numerous potential voters above the age of eighteen execute not take part, or room ineligible to vote. For example, in the 2016 election, around twenty million U.S. Adult were ineligible come vote, while end 94 million simply did no participate; in this election, Donald Trump won the electoral college with 63 million votes, which method that 19.4 percent the the total U.S. Population (or 27.3 percent of default voters) voted for the existing president.

Development transparent history

While the figures for the 2016 choice may appear low, end 42 percent that the total population participated in this election, which to be the 3rd highest participation rate ever recorded (after the 2008 and also 2020 elections). In the first election decided by a well-known vote in 1824, just 350 thousands votes were cast from a total populace of 10.6 million, although this increased to over four million votes through the 1856 election, as limitations that used to non-property hold white males were progressively lifted. Authorized levels then dropped during the polite War and Reconstruction era, as those who stayed in Confederate states could not vote in 1864, and also many white southerners were restricted or discouraged in the complying with election. Although global suffrage to be granted to black males in the wake of the polite War, the bulk of black color Americans lived in the southern states, whereby lawmakers introduced Jim Crow regulations in the late 1800s to suppress and disenfranchise the black vote, and also poor white voters.The next major milestone to be the advent of women"s suffrage in 1920, which experienced voter participation increase by seven million votes (or seven percent) in between the 1916 and also 1920 elections. Between the 1910s and 1970s, the great Migration saw countless black Americans move away native the southern to northern and western states, whereby they challenged fewer obstacles once voting and also greater economic mobility. This period of black color migration started to decrease in the 1960s and also 1970s, during which time plenty of Jim Crow laws were repealed in the south, through regulation such as the Voting civil liberties Act of 1965. Female participation additionally grew gradually, and has gone beyond male voting participation in all elections due to the fact that the 1980s. The minimum voting period was lower from 21 come 18 in all says in 1971, although this seemingly had actually a minimal affect on the momentary trajectory of voter participation.

Recent elections

The 1992 election was the first in which much more than one hundred million votes to be cast, i beg your pardon was nearly 41 percent the the total population. All elections since 2004 have likewise had more than one hundred million votes cast, which has actually again been much more than fourty percent of the complete population. Another key factor in the rise in voter participation is the reality that people are living longer than ever before, and that those aged 65 and also over have had the highest possible turnout levels due to the fact that 1992. If some numbers may be topic to change, the 2020 election set new records for voter turnout. Despite the an international coronavirus pandemic, which plenty of thought could cause the lowest turnout in decades, a record variety of voters actors their ballots at an early stage or through mail, setup a brand-new record the votes simply shy the 160 million. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden and also Donald Trump obtained 81.3 million and also 74.2 million votes respectively, both beating Barack Obama"s previous document of 69.3 million ballots in 2008.


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Voting populaces and variety of votes actors in U.S. Presidential elections indigenous 1824 to 2020


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CharacteristicTotal populationVoting-age populationVoting-eligible populationTotal votes castVotes cast for winnerVotes cast for runner-up*
2020331257.61239.25158.3881.2874.22
2016324.31250.06230.93136.7562.9865.85
2012313.9235.25222.47129.0765.960.93
2008304.1225.5213.31131.369.359.6
2004292.8215.69203.48122.2962.0459.03
2000282.2205.82194.33105.3850.4651
1996265.2196.5186.3596.2645.5937.82
1992255189.04179.66104.4144.9139.1
1988244.5182.63173.5891.5948.8941.81
1984235.8173.94167.792.6554.4637.58
1980227.2164.6159.6486.5243.935.48
1976218152.31-81.640.8339.15
1972209.9140.78-77.6347.1729.17
1968200.7120.33-73.0331.7931.28
1964191.9114.09-70.143.1327.18
1960180.7109.67-68.8434.2334.11
1956168.9104.52-62.0335.5926.02
1952157.699.93-61.5533.9427.31
1948146.695.57-48.8324.1821.99
1944138.485.65-47.9825.6122.12
1940132.184.73-49.927.7616.68
1936128.180.17-45.5222.8315.76
1932124.875.77-39.5822.8315.76
1928120.5--36.7121.4415.01
1924114.1--28.9315.728.39
1920106.5--26.6516.159.13
1916102--18.489.138.55
191295.3--15.016.294.12
190888.7--14.767.686.41
190482.2--13.497.635.08
190076.1--13.797.226.36
189670.5--13.887.116.51
189265.1--12.035.555.18
188860--11.385.445.53
188455.1--10.014.874.85
188050.2--9.24.454.44
187646--8.324.034.29
187241.8--6.433.62.83
1868**37.9--5.723.012.71
1864**34.2--4.032.221.81
186031.4--4.691.870.85
185627.6--4.051.841.34
185224.6--3.151.611.39
184821.9--2.581.361.22
184419.4--2.641.341.3
184017.1--2.41.271.13
183615.1--1.50.760.55
183213.4--1.290.70.48
182811.9--1.140.640.5
182410.6--0.350.110.15