Age, Gender and Incumbency: Analyzing State Trends in the 2024 General Elections

This article presents a thorough and comprehensive survey into the factors of age, gender trends, and terms of office based on the very recent Lok Sabha Election Results of 2024, particularly from the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

by Admin
Jun 18, 2024

The recent Lok Sabha Elections, our country’s 18th, have yielded their results, with the Indian democracy voting to elect their representatives. With the declaration of the results, it is important to examine and understand the prevailing and new trends concerning the ages, gender, and incumbency practices that have developed as a result in the Indian states. According to our data, the newly elected Lok Sabha contains members falling mostly within the ages of 51-55 and 61-65, which presents an obvious disparity and a lack of representation. MPs between the ages of 25-40 are present in the lowest concentration, with only a mere number of 7 members holding these Lok Sabha seats. In contrast, more than half of our population is under 30, indicating a severe discrepancy. Let’s examine the trends observed in some of these states—Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

According to our data, the representation of women appears to be significantly lower in contrast to men. Punjab fares extremely low, with a mere 8% female representation, while states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana host a representation of 15%, 13%, and 12% of females, respectively. However, the ratio is relatively balanced in states like Odisha and Uttarakhand, with a relatively higher percentage of female representation at 24% and 20%, respectively, with 76% and 80% of their male counterparts.

The Lok Sabha elections in 2024 hosted a significant difference in the average age of the candidates and the MPs that emerged victorious across the various states and political parties. The average age of elected MPs across these states is between 53 and 60 years, with Punjab having the lowest average age (53 years) and Uttarakhand having the highest (60 years). Sanjna Jatav, 26, was the youngest elected MP in Rajasthan, while the oldest MP was Brijendra Singh Ola, who was 72 years old. Both candidates are from INC.  Similarly, in Maharashtra, the youngest MP is Adv Gowaal Kagada Padavi (31 years old), and the oldest MP is Chhatrapati Shahu Shahaji (76 years old), again, both representing INC. Odisha had a similar trend—the youngest MP is Malvika Devi (43 years), from BJP, and the oldest MP is Pratap Chandra Sarangi (69 years). Telangana’s youngest MP is Vamsi Krishna Gaddam (35), and the oldest is Dr. Mallu Ravi (73), both from INC. Uttar Pradesh's oldest MP from the Samajwadi Party is Awadhesh Prasad (79 years). Along the same line, in Tamil Nadu’s case, the oldest elected representative is T R Baalu (82 years), from DMK, who also serves as the oldest representative among all these states.

Some other states have a similar age disparity between the population and the elected representatives, specifically in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. West Bengal’s youngest MP is Sayani Ghosh (31 years), and the oldest is Shatrughan Prasad Sinha (77 years), both of whom are from AITC. In Madhya Pradesh, the youngest elected member is Smt. Himadri Singh (37 years), from BJP; the oldest is Dr. Virendra Kumar (70 years). Finally, Uttrakhand’s youngest MP (Ajay Tamta, 51)  is not as young as in other states, reflecting elected representatives' overall older age trend.

In most states, the average age of the contesting candidates is noticed to be lower than that of those who got elected.  The average age of candidates is 44-52 years in these states. For instance, in Telangana, the average age of candidates is 44 years, and in Tamil Nadu, it is 47. In states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, the average candidate age is 48, being slightly higher. It’s 49 years in West Bengal and 52 in Uttarakhand. However, the average age of the elected candidates lies between 53-60 years. To understand the current state of youth representation in the parliament, we must compare this data with the individual state’s median age. Madhya Pradesh’s median age is 26 years, while the average age of participating candidates was 48. Similarly, Uttar Pradesh’s median age is 24.7 years, while the average age of the elected MPs is 55. In Uttarakhand, the age disparity is vast, with the state’s median age being 28.5 years and the average age of MPs being 60. In Odisha, the average age of candidates is 51, but the state's median age is 30.2. There is an evident age gap and a lack of youth representation.

Finally, let’s dissect the incumbency trends. There is a trend in these states with a lower percentage of former incumbent candidates and a generally higher percentage of non-incumbent candidates. In Maharashtra, the incumbency percentage is only 20.8%; similarly, for Telangana, it is 23.5%. It is slightly lower in the case of Uttar Pradesh (27.5%) and Odisha (33.3%). West Bengal (52.4%) and Madhya Pradesh (51.7%) had a substantially higher proportion of incumbent candidates. Uttarakhand has the most significant percentage of incumbent candidates (60%).