Getting to know our presidents

Let’s gather and organize some facts about all the U.S. presidents to-date and slice and dice the data to see what insights we can garner.

First, I looked at various, reliable sources and shaped the data in a way I could work with. For example, normalizing the data, converting to appropriate scales and units, bucketing, categorizing certain information while quantifying others, etc. Some sources used are:,,,

I now have interesting facts about each president, including what was their birth order, which pets did they have, based on their heights and weights, their BMIs, which school they went to, etc. etc. When I didn’t find height but found weight and BMI data, I calculated the corresponding heights based on the simple formula: BMI=weight(KG) / height (Meter^2)

Here’s a snapshot of how my table looks like:



Most presidents elected were in the 46-55 years range. No one as of now were over 70 when they were elected (Trump was 70).

Reagan was the next oldest to be elected. T. Roosevelt was the youngest at 42 followed by JFK as clearly shown in the chart above. This chart is also interactive, allowing me to choose any specific president or several selected presidents and see the results as shown in the animation below:

Jimmy Carter is the oldest living (ex)president @94 years and counting (as of June 2019).

We can now get more understanding of their age metrics from the table below:

The prime age of being elected appears to be 54, 56, and 55 is a sweet spot too. The bins of ages show us clearly the pattern. So, my chances of running for POTUS when I’m under 50 or over 70 would be pretty slim 😉

The following chart clearly shows the complete picture of president’s historical longevity (living presidents are not shown since we don’t have their longevity yet):


Only 2 presidents never had any pets (at least at the time of their presidency): Trump and Polk.
Most diverse type of pets owned by: Theodore Roosevelt
Two presidents had pet alligators: John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover.

Three presidents had bears as pets (and you thought it was only a Russian thing ;)): Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge

Only 1 president had rats as pets: Theodore Roosevelt

Only 1 president had guinea pigs as pets: Theodore Roosevelt

Dog is #1 pet for the presidents (about 73% of them had 1 or more dogs).

Cat is at #4 (2nd being birds, 3rd being horses! I expected cats to be #2 at least).


Number of vice presidents who became president of the United States: 14 (8 of them were due to the death of the sitting president.)

Number of vice presidents accused of murder: 1 (Aaron Burr, VP for Thomas Jefferson)


The following chart shows who were left-handed, and who spoke more than one language. Orange bar above a president means he is/was left-handed, and blue bar means bi/multi-lingual. Only 3 presidents were both left-handed AND spoke more than 1 language. The chart is interactive and can be filtered by single/multiple president name(s) selection.


Chester Arthur (closely followed by Abraham Lincoln) was the tallest (6 feet 4 inches == 6.3 feet) and Madison was shortest. 194 cm = 6.4 feet. 163 cm = 5.3 feet. 182.59 cm = 6 feet. Chances are good if you’re over 5’11”.


Let’s see how much they weighed, but weight alone doesn’t really give a comparable picture because a 6’2″ person will almost certainly weigh more than a 5’3″. So, instead I show the BMI (which takes height into consideration). Their BMIs look like this:

Yes, Taft was quite heavy too. The heaviest of all presidents so far at 340 lbs (154.2 kg)! The slimmest was Madison at 100 lbs (45.4 kg).


By adding some geospatial data, I charted the following map of all presidents’ birthplace (states). These are the states that yielded our presidents so far.

But let’s make it even better by showing exactly who, and home in into specific presidents as desired. The following chart is interactive and shows the interaction example with animation:


Most presidents were named James (5 of them, or 26% of the presidents to-date).

Now you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about our presidents 🙂

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