Five birthdays are specific milestones in the US.

Americans like to celebrate, and rarely more so than on their birthdays.

Expect cake, balloons and presents at any birthday party you attend in America. And if you attend parties for Americans turning one of the five ages below, you should know that they have hit a significant milestone in their lives.

Five Important Birthdays in America

  • Age 5: Children attend kindergarten at about this age. Although many kids attend preschool the year before, kindergarten is often considered a child’s first year of school.
  • Age 13: American children look forward to this birthday, when they can call themselves a teenager. They are usually in the seventh grade when they celebrate this birthday.
  • Age 16: Although not all of them receive a car on their 16th birthday, many teens do learn to drive at this age in high school! Each US state has its own rules about when a resident can earn a driver’s license, so drivers in some states are even younger.
  • Age 18: The 18th birthday is arguably the most important in American society. You are officially an adult at this age in the US—even if you don’t act like one! With that label comes more responsibilities, such as being allowed to vote in local, state and national elections. Most students also graduate from high school at this age and follow-up their studies with either college or a full-time job.
  • Age 21: The 18th birthday might be the most important, but the 21st birthday may be the most widely celebrated! Americans can legally drink at this age, and 21st birthday parties are commonly held in bars.