The age when a person is recognized by adults varied from epoch to epoch, and were not always the same for men and women. For example, in medieval Europe, the age of marriage for men has come in 14 years, and for women is 12. Currently, the age of majority varies from state to state.


In the Russian Empire did not have a single clue of age, but was of the right status and for entry into each right was determined by its age. With 15 years Russian citizen could testify in court, with 16 – to enter the service, with 17 to dispose of property and enter into contracts with the participation of its Trustee (doing it yourself was only 21 years). In 18 years the young man received the right to marry, for girls, the marriage age was advancing several earlier – at the age of 16. 21 years old could participate in the Assembly of nobles, and with 25 years in city elections and to hold various positions in the municipality or rural administration.

In modern Russia the age of majority is 18 years. From 14 to 18 years the person is in the status of minors, which is different from the position of a minor under 14 years of age. Minor citizen has a passport, partly criminally liable. An underage girl in the case of pregnancy may marry with the permission of local authorities.

Other countries

There is an international Declaration, according to which people under 18 years of age, ceases to be a child. In many countries, as in the Russian Federation, the age corresponds to the age: Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, South Africa, Venezuela and other countries.

Cuba, Egypt, Honduras and Bahrain, the age of majority is 16, in the Faroe Islands 14, North Korea – 17, in South Korea, 19 years old, Tunisia and Japan – 20. It is noteworthy that in Japan the second Monday of January, make a feast for all boys and girls who this year will celebrate or have already celebrated its 20th anniversary.

There are States where different parts of the country sets different age of majority – for example, UK: in England the age of majority is 18 years old and in Scotland 16. In most US States the age of majority is 18, but in Alabama, Wyoming and Nebraska is 19, in Mississippi and new York state is 21.

In Brazil and Malaysia, the age of majority is not the same as getting voting rights. In both these States the citizens become adults at 18, but in the election, Brazilians vote with 16, and the citizens of Malaysia from 21 years.