Global Leadership Is on the Cusp of a Youth Movement

Global Leadership Is on the Cusp of a Youth Movement
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Chilean President Gabriel Boric pose for photos during a bilateral meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 2, 2023 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).

Since 1970, life expectancy in almost all the world’s rich, industrialized nations has increased by 10 years. In many developing countries it is also growing fast. It should therefore be no surprise that world leaders, too, are older than they used to be. 

Today, the leadership of many of the world’s most powerful countries is concentrated in the hands of septuagenarians, or older. Russian President Vladimir Putin is 70 years old, while Chinese President Xi Jinping will turn 70 in June, and U.S. President Joe Biden recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Elsewhere, beyond the great power triangle, the leader of the most-populous democracy in the world, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is 72; the leader of Latin America’s largest and most-populous country, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is 77; and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, the most-populous country in Africa, is 80.

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