He is one of eight players confirmed under the age of 24 along with Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Phil Jones, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson and Danny Welbeck.
"These youngsters have imposed themselves upon me and my thinking because they've been so effective and successful for their clubs," Hodgson said.
"A lot has changed since we qualified back in October and you can't ignore what they've have been doing on a week-to-week basis. Some of them may have been deemed fringe players last year but not any more."
Hodgson also named experienced internationals Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, James Milner, Joe Hart and Glen Johnson in the group, as well as 35-year-old Frank Lampard.
Hodgson said: "Frank is still a very important part of our set-up. His leadership qualities and his ability means he fully deserves his selection."
Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert also made the cut, while Celtic's Fraser Forster was named as England's back-up goalkeeper to Hart alongside Ben Foster.
Everton defender Phil Jagielka, who recently recovered from a hamstring injury, joins Chelsea's Gary Cahill in the defenders along with Leighton Baines and Chris Smalling, while Liverpool's prolific goalscorer Daniel Sturridge joins the strikers.
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is a surprise omission, however, and is on the stand-by list with Norwich keeper John Ruddy, who lost out to Forster.
And Ashley Cole announced his retirement from international football on Sunday after Shaw was selected instead.
"It was an unbelievably hard decision," Hodgson explained. "Ashley is a player I appreciate greatly. He is magnificent and what he has done for England is second to none."
"But the emerging Shaw has had a wonderful season, capturing the headlines with his form and ability. Circumstances will prove whether it was the right decision to take the younger player."
Liverpool youngster Jon Flanagan is also on the list of reserves along with Everton's John Stones, United's Tom Cleverley, and strikers Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll.
The group will prepare for England's first pre-tournament friendly against Peru at Wembley on May 30 before Hodgson confirms his final squad on June 2.
That final party will then travel to Florida for a pre-tournament training camp and friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras on June 4 and 7.
England's opener against Italy takes place in Manaus on June 14.
With the exception of Kyle Walker, who misses out because of injury, Hodgson's squad is the same as that chosen by Sky Sports users via the Squad Selector.
And Hodgson said: "I must congratulate the Sky readers who worried the life out of me 10 days ago when I saw the results of a poll and the team was virtually the one I was going to select.
"I was worried there was a leak in my organisation!"
England World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Ben Foster (West Brom), Fraser Forster (Celtic).
Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), Leighton Baines (Everton), Luke Shaw (S'ton).
Midfielders: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (S'ton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Man City), Ross Barkley (Everton).
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd), Rickie Lambert (S'ton)
Stand-by list: John Ruddy (Norwich) John Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Jermain Defoe (Toronto), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Tom Cleverley (Man Utd).