Why Are You An Adult At Age 18?

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The age in which you are legally considered an adult, known as the age of majority, is most commonly 18 years of age. This is thought to be the legal threshold of adulthood when you are no longer considered a “minor” and are now a part of the majority population. You now assume control over yourself, your actions, and your decisions thus terminating the legal control and responsibilities of your parent or guardian. A pretty sobering thought for many young folks on the brink of adulthood. So, who decided that 18 should be the age of adulthood, anyway? Welcome to this episode of the Infographics Show, How Did 18 Become The Standard For Adulthood?

The age of majority is defined as the age at which a person is granted by law the rights and responsibilities of an adult. In the United States, 18 is the most common age of majority. Some states however grant majority after a person passes high school, and still others have it set even higher. Alabama and Nebraska for instance, have the current age of majority at 19 while Mississippi is at 21. Nonetheless, the age of majority does not affect voting age which by law is set at 18 due to the twenty-sixth amendment to the constitution giving 18 year olds the right to vote in federal, state and local elections.

Let’s just cover a few bases before we dive right into how 18 became the age of adulthood. There are a couple terms that sound similar to the age of majority, or the legal age of adulthood, that you should know. The first one is the age of consent, which, like the age of majority, varies by state. As you already know, the age of majority means that now you are legally considered an adult. You are granted the rights and responsibilities of adulthood, like opening a bank account, purchasing a car, renting an apartment, buying a lotto ticket, and lots of other fun and legally contracting things. With that right, comes great responsibility. You now also get to be held legally accountable for your actions. That’s a lot of pressure for someone just out of high school, but it’s also a real eye-opener. Welcome to the real world, kid!

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