The short answer is: Yes, the average age of apostles is getting older. My friend Quentin Spencer is somewhat of a data nerd, and he has a blog called LDS Data Analysis that discusses statistics in the LDS church. His latest post was called Demographics of Apostles. I will give you some highlights and color commentary from his blog here, but I highly recommend you click on the link above and read the gory details for yourself!

First up is the graph below showing the average age of the apostles and the oldest and youngest. The saw tooth nature of the lines happens when an apostle dies and is replaced with a younger man, which is always the case. The average age of the apostles at the beginning of this year was 78.7 years, just short of the all-time high in 2015 of 79 years. In a few months the current batch of apostles will be the oldest in history.

One reason for this might be due to medical advances; they are just living longer. But longer lives does not account for the average age at which they are called, which is also going up. From the scatter plot below, you can see that from 1900 when most apostles were in their 30s and 40s, to 1970, when the last apostle under 50 was called there has been a gradual increase in age. Since 1970, it has crept up to where in the last 20 years, almost all the new apostles have been between 55 and 65.

Another thing Quentin touched on in his blog was what calling the apostles had before they were apostles. Before 1960, less than half of the apostles were a General Authority before they were called (70, or assistant to the Q12). Since 1969, almost 90 percent of those called have been a GA or university president (which in our current climate, is treated as a quasi-GA) The most common calling today is being in the presidency of the 70.

Quinten summed up his data with the following:

To become an apostle, one must therefore become a general authority in one’s early 50s or younger, and within a few years be called into higher leadership callings among the general authorities. And one must not be too old when a vacancy is open in the Quorum of the Twelve. Becoming president of the church requires living at least another 30 years beyond that.

What do you think? Is having an older leadership (and getting older) a pro or con? Can it be bad when you are running for President of the United States, but good if you are a member of the First Presidency?