Over the past decade (2000-2009), only 24 of 200 nominations for acting Oscars have gone to individuals who were 30 years old or younger (at the time of the nominations announcement); of those, only 6 went to men (4 for best actor and 2 for best supporting actor), while 18 went to women (11 for best actress and 7 for best supporting actress); and in no year did more than 5 of the 20 nominees fall into that demographic (that happened once, but in most years the number was 1 or 2). There is, however, reason to believe that these trends will be halted, if not reversed for the long-term, when this year’s nominations are announced on January 25, 2011.

I find ample reason to believe that on that date, as many as 8 nominees — and possibly more — could still be 30 or younger. The most likely candidates: Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) for best actor, Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) for best supporting actor, Anne Hathaway (“Love and Other Drugs”) for best actress, Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) for best supporting actress, Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) for best actress, Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) for best actress, Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) for best supporting actress, and Justin Timberlake (“The Social Network”) for best supporting actor.

Following is an extensive list of Hollywood’s top actors and actresses who are currently 30 or younger, with those who gave standout performances in 2010 appearing in blue. (Some, such as “Blue Valentine” stars Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, will turn 31 prior to the nominations announcement, which is the primary reason for why they are not included among the names listed above.)

Top Actresses (30 or younger)

  • Eva Green (7/5/80)
  • Michelle Williams (9/9/80)
  • Bryce Dallas Howard (3/2/81)
  • Julia Stiles (3/28/81)
  • Catalina Sandino Moreno (4/19/81)
  • Jessica Alba (4/28/81)
  • Natalie Portman (6/9/81)
  • Beyonce Knowles (9/4/81)
  • Jennifer Hudson (9/12/81)
  • Alexis Bledel (9/16/81)
  • Sienna Miller (12/28/81)
  • Jessica Biel (3/3/82)
  • Thora Birch (3/11/82)
  • Hayley Atwell (4/5/82)
  • Kirsten Dunst (4/30/82)
  • Rebecca Hall (5/19/82)
  • Elisabeth Moss (7/24/82)
  • Anna Paquin (7/24/82)
  • Romola Garai (8/6/82)
  • Abbie Cornish (8/7/82)
  • Anne Hathaway (11/12/82)
  • Melanie Laurent (2/21/83)
  • Emily Blunt (2/23/83)
  • Kate Mara (2/27/83)
  • Gabby Sidibe (5/6/83)
  • Amber Tamblyn (5/14/83)
  • Greta Gerwig (8/4/83)
  • Mila Kunis (8/14/83)
  • Zoe Kazan (9/9/83)
  • Olivia Wilde (3/10/84)
  • America Ferrera (4/18/84)
  • Freida Pinto (10/18/84)
  • Jena Malone (11/21/84)
  • Scarlett Johansson (11/22/84)
  • Rooney Mara (?/?/85)
  • Keira Knightley (3/26/85)
  • Carey Mulligan (5/28/85)
  • Anna Kendrick (8/9/85)
  • Amanda Seyfried (12/3/85)
  • Gemma Arterton (1/12/86)
  • Kat Dennings (6/13/86)
  • Lindsay Lohan (7/2/86)
  • Emmy Rossum (9/12/86)
  • Olivia Thirlby (10/6/86)
  • Ellen Page (2/21/87)
  • Blake Lively (8/25/87)
  • Evan Rachel Wood (9/7/87)
  • Emma Stone (11/6/88)
  • Shareeka Epps (7/11/89)
  • Mia Wasikowska (10/14/89)
  • Keisha Castle-Hughes (3/24/90)
  • Kristen Stewart (4/9/90)
  • Emma Watson (4/15/90)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (8/15/90)
  • Emma Roberts (2/10/91)
  • Miley Cyrus (11/23/92)
  • Keke Palmer (8/26/93)
  • Dakota Fanning (2/23/94)
  • Saoirse Ronan (4/12/94)
  • Abigail Breslin (4/14/96)
  • Hailee Steinfeld (?/?/96)
  • Chloe Moretz (2/10/97)
  • Elle Fanning (4/9/98)

Top Actors (30 or Younger)

  • Jason Schwartzman (6/26/80)
  • Macaulay Culkin (8/26/80)
  • Chris Pine (8/26/80)
  • Ben Whishaw (10/14/80)
  • Ben Foster (10/29/80)
  • Ryan Gosling (11/12/80)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (12/19/80)
  • Elijah Wood (1/28/81)
  • Justin Timberlake (1/31/81)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (2/17/81)
  • Michael Pitt (4/10/81)
  • Hayden Christensen (4/19/81)
  • Rupert Friend (10/1/81)
  • Eddie Redmayne (1/6/82)
  • Jay Baruchel (4/9/82)
  • Seth Rogen (4/15/82)
  • Andrew Garfield (8/20/83)
  • Jesse Eisenberg (10/5/83)
  • Jonah Hill (12/20/83)
  • Paul Dano (6/19/84)
  • Emile Hirsch (3/13/85)
  • Robert Pattinson (5/13/86)
  • Shia LaBeouf (6/11/86)
  • Armie Hammer (8/26/86)
  • Zac Efron (10/18/87)
  • Haley Joel Osment (4/10/88)
  • Michael Cera (6/7/88)
  • Nicholas Hoult (12/7/89)
  • Taylor Lautner (2/11/92)
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee (6/13/96)

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