I’m the middle child so this kind of story really gets to me! Of course, second-born kids are superior – who doesn’t know that? But if you believe the research (and I’m not sure I do), the firstborns get the gold medal.

The results of a massive study done by a whole collection of brainy people (economists Sandra E. Black at the University of Texas-Austin, and Björn Öckert and Erik Grönqvist at Sweden’s Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy) say that first-born children are 30 percent more likely to be CEOs or politician, stay in school for longer, earn more moola, have a higher IQ, and even spend more time with homework than on screens.

A psychologist involved in the study also concluded that firstborns have better personalities.
“An individual is given a higher score if he is considered to be emotionally stable, persistent, socially outgoing, willing to assume responsibility, and able to take initiative,” Black says.

First Born Leaders

Possible due to higher IQ and above-average social skills, first-borns are “significantly more likely” to be employed as top managers. While, children born in the 2nd, 3rd or later slots, are more likely to be entrepreneurs and self-employed.

The researchers summarised that the ‘superior’ firstborn was a result of parents being able to invest a lot of time establishing rules for their first child. Firstborns get the lion share of attention from their parents and are also entrusted to play the ‘example’ child within the family, which in turn builds intelligence, discipline, and leadership qualities. While subsequent siblings need to compete for more attention and tend to “become more sociable and unconventional in order to attract parental resources.”

First-borns aren’t just healthier or smarter, but also they score higher on “emotional stability, persistence, social outgoingness, willingness to assume responsibility and ability to take initiative.”

So if the study is true, my elder brother may be richer, but I’m going to be happier!

Do you believe it? Tell us in the comments below

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  • Im the eldest but left school at 15 where as my brothers stayed on longer.
    My eldest left High School and was done with schooling but she is now a General manager of a major company. My middle daughter left school and did a hair dressing apprenticeship. she did that for a few years but is now in Uni with a new goal of becoming a dietician. My youngest is the one that went from school to uni and is now a school teacher.


  • My daughter would agree with this 100% :)


  • Oh how interesting! Not sure if I really believe it all though


  • Nah. The eldest in my family isn’t very nice at all.


  • This is interesting!!


  • I’ve only got one at the moment so can’t speak for my family and I’m an only child but haven’t gone off to really do anything great with myself as I didn’t get to study what I was really passionate about.
    The same goes for my extended family; cousins etc. None of them have gone into super ambitious careers…


  • Not in my family at all. The first born is an attention seeker with a narcissistic personality. The second born is a rebel who gets over things easily. The third is the quiet but deep thinker who takes on all the family’s problems and fixes things. She is also the most successful who has forged her way when the 1st and 2nd didn’t. The fourth/baby, gets away with everything and doesn’t have to deal. He was mothered and not required to do much of anything.


  • These kinds of ideas are very limiting and so not true.


  • I don’t believe in this study. It’s not true for me and also not true for my sons’ first born.


  • I believe some of them,Of course parent investing lots of time for the first born to establishing the rules.


  • Don’t believe it


  • No I don’t believe in this study.


  • No, not convinced – we are all individuals!


  • so many nature and nurture variables.

    • There are indeed so many variables, nurture and nature and demographics etc.


  • We are all individuals and therefore, we are all different. I dont think this applies to all families, definitely not mine


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