Why is 18 legally considered adult instead of, say, 19 or 20? What is significant about 18 and not, say, 17 or 16?

21 Answers

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  • 1 year ago

    Reagan, Obama, and Trump changed that to 21.

    Prior to that for about a decade it was 18. 

    19 and 20 is still a kid, 16 and 17 is unquestionably still a kid. WAY too young. Adulthood is miserable. 

  • 1 year ago

    Because 18 is the most common age you are recognized to be physically full gown.

  • Connor
    Lv 4
    1 year ago

    God knows how many times this question has been asked! Because 18 is when they become old enough to do many things 

  • Athena
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    It is a matter of British Common law.

    Ages of consent and Majority is based on common law and goes back literally thousands of years.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Because it is.  There is no reason why it should be any particular age, but it has to be set somewhere.  Traditionally it used to be 21.

  • John H
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Legislators had to pick one. I think it was on a dart board.

  • 1 year ago

    Traditionally students graduated at 18 after the mandatory 12 years of schooling. So they were considered adults when they entered the work place.

  • Huh?
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    It was 21, but during the Vietnam war we drafted as young as 18. It was decided if 18 is old enough to fight it was old enough to be a legal adult. 

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    Don't you ever get tired of asking this same question?

    It's an arbitrary age.  Originally it was PRESUMED that at age 18 children would have graduated from high school and, therefore, begun an adult life.

    Look it up.

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    They are changing it to 21.  Too many crybabies out there.  

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