At what year or parts of years were the most current (meaning in office) and former Presidents of the United States alive? It seems that 1833 to 1836 had the most current, former, and future Presidents alive, but what year had the most that actually or were currently serving?

1 Answer 1


According to this article, combined with recent events, there have been four times when six presidents were alive at once.

  • March 4, 1861 to January 18, 1862: Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln
  • January 20, 1993 to April 22, 1994: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton
  • January 20, 2001 to June 5, 2004: Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr
  • January 20, 2017 to November 30, 2018: Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, Trump

With the inauguration of Joe Biden, this has happened a fifth time:

  • January 20, 2021 to present: Carter, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, Trump, Biden

Here's where I previously predicted it would likely not happen again for the foreseeable future, but given the happy determination of Carter to live forever, I will not do so again.

  • 5
    If I could, I'd give you an extra half a vote up or so for working out the actual odds mathematically.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 13:16
  • 4
    I will try to remember to update the answer next February.
    – user15620
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 22:44
  • 2
    Average age someone becomes president is around 55 and average time spent as president is 5.3, so that means most likely there are ten people alive today who will be president but aren't president yet. We probably need to go back to Trump's birthday (1946) before we can even be sure of a number as he's the oldest person elected to a first term.
    – user15620
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 6:37
  • 4
    Three 8-year presidents occurred once before: Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe in 1801-1825. Therefore 1993-2017 was not unprecedented. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 0:03
  • 1
    How plausible gets us into politics. For Trump to be removed from office, 67 senators have to vote to do so, so it could not be a party line vote. Also, not to be morbid about it, but Jimmy Carter is 94...the chance of him lasting until Jan 20, 2021 is only around 50-50.
    – user15620
    Commented Dec 2, 2018 at 0:38

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