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

22 Answers

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  • 1 month 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. 

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  • 1 month ago

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

  • 1 month ago

    Actually it SHOULD BE 21 for ALCOHOL, CIGS, Cell Phones and DRIVERS LICENSE... 

  • 1 month ago

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

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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    1 month 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.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Under British common it was 21. 18 means nothing except to the mentally ill modern world. 21 is so much better because it's not a teen.

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  • Clive
    Lv 7
    1 month 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 month ago

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

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  • 1 month 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 month 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. 

    • Anon
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      BS. Drafted at 18 for WWI (Great War.)  Maybe at 18 for SA war, Civil War. not sure. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

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

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