Acta Politica

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 124–144 | Cite as

Young deputies in the European Parliament: a starkly underrepresented age group

  • Daniel StockemerEmail author
  • Aksel Sundström
Original Article


The underrepresentation of youths in legislatures is a rarely studied topic in comparative research. This article examines the representation of age groups in the European Parliament, an assembly that allows researchers to observe variation in youths’ presence across institutional contexts of countries. Utilizing a register of the age of all individual Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the years 1979–2014, we do two things: (1) offer a picture of the representation of young politicians over time and provide some explanations for youth’s underrepresentation in the EP, and (2) investigate national differences in the representation of young MEPs. Analyzing a host of explanatory variables, our analyses highlight that lowering the legal age to run for office benefits young individuals. In contrast, our analysis suggests that countries, which are richer and have younger populations, tend to send older delegations to Brussels and Strasbourg.


Youths Representation European Parliament 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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