Age of majority facts for kids
The age of majority is the age that children become adults by law. This means that they are legally in control over their own actions and decisions, and their parents are no longer responsible for them. When used this way, the word majority means having the full number of years to be an adult. The opposite is minority, which means being a minor or child. The law in a given place may never actually use the words "age of majority" when deciding when people become adults. The age of majority is a legally fixed age and idea of adulthood which is different in different places. It may not match the actual maturity of a person's body or mind. The age of majority is 18 in the vast majority of jurisdictions, but ages as low as 15 and as high as 21 exist in some.
Once a person reaches the age of majority, there are some things they can do that they could not do before. These may include buying stocks, voting, buying or drinking alcohol, driving cars on public roads, and marrying without having to ask for permission. The ages that these things can be done are different depending on where the person lives.
Even after a person reaches the age of majority, there may be other age-based rules that they still have to follow, such as the right to stand for office in elections or become a judge. For example, the youngest a person is allowed to purchase alcohol is 21 in all U.S. states even though the age of majority is 18 in most states. The age of majority in the Republic of Ireland is 18, but a person must be over 21 years old to stand for election.
Emancipation is when a child is freed from the responsibility and care of their parents or legal guardians before they reach the age of majority.
Countries and subdivisions
This is a list of the age of majority in various countries (or administrative divisions):
- American Samoa, United States
- All countries of the European Union (with exceptions as listed)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brazil (though one may vote at the age of 16)
- Canada (provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan)
- Costa Rica
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Croatia (if minor doesn't marry or had a child)
- Czech Republic
- Denmark (incl. Faroe Islands and Greenland)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Guinea (minors are emancipated upon marriage)
- Hong Kong
- Indonesia (minors are emancipated upon marriage)
- Isle of Man
- Paraguay (minors are emancipated upon marriage)
- Poland (minors are emancipated upon marriage)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Switzerland (If parents don't agree)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom, (except Scotland)
- United States, (with these exceptions: Alabama and Nebraska, 19; Mississippi and Puerto Rico, 21)
- Alabama, United States
- Canada (provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon)
- Nebraska, United States
- Age of consent
Age of majority Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.