Why first-born siblings are natural leaders

By Phoebe Weston

Beyonce is the oldest of all her siblings. Photo / Getty Images
Beyonce is the oldest of all her siblings. Photo / Getty Images

First-born children are more likely to become CEOs or politicians because they've had practice ordering around their siblings, according to a new study.

Oldest siblings generally stay in school longer, get richer and even have a higher IQ than their younger siblings, accoding to The Daily Mail.

This research suggests that born-leaders are a real thing - and their success is not based on their teachers or peers but on their birth order.

First-born children are 30 per cent more likely to become CEOs or politicians, according to economists at the University of Texas-Austin and at Sweden's Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

They are "more emotionally stable, persistent, socially outgoing, willing to assume responsibility, and able to take initiative than later-borns", researchers said in the paper.

These unique traits make them "more likely to be in occupations that require leadership ability [and] social ability".

Having more children means parents spend less time with each child so the later ones generally have lower IQs, according to the study, which just looked at boys.

Parents invest more time creating rules and being strict with the first child.

As a result develop unique qualities that make them great leaders, such as intelligence, discipline and people management.

Parents who think their older children are well-behaved are less likely to discipline their younger siblings who have to be more creative to get their parents' attention.

This results in younger siblings ending up in more creative professions, such as architecture, writing and photography, writes The Atlantic.

These results are backed up by previous research.

According to Canadian duo Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, from Toronto, who present an online science show, several theories suggest that where you are in your family determines who you are.

They have outlined key personality traits for all siblings which they believe are based on whether parents have high expectations and how strict they were.

FIRST-BORNS

According to Mitchell and Brown, first-born children are expected to be higher academic achievers and more ambitious.

They also have a stronger sense of responsibility and are generally more mature.

They also tend to have better leadership skills than other birth orders.

The explanation is because although they get a lot more affection and attention from their parents, their parents have higher expectations as the first child.

This works as a self-fulfilling prophecy: if there are high expectations placed on you, you are more likely to want to work hard and live up to these expectations.

Famous oldest children

Beyoncé
Emma Watson
Taylor Swift
Hillary Clinton
Richard Branson
J. K. Rowling
Kate Middleton
Oprah Winfrey
Rihanna
Winston Churchill

MIDDLE-BORNS

Middle-born children apparently tend to be more co-operative, flexible and sociable.

They are also the birth order that are able to make and maintain friendships easily.

This is due to the fact that as a middle-born child, there aren't the high expectations of the first child, nor the relaxed attitude accorded to the last child.

As a result, they also tend to be less ambitious than their older brothers and sisters, and so will have a more relaxed attitude in life.

As middle children receive less attention than their other siblings, they seek out relationships and friendships outside of their family, and can be social butterflies.

Famous middle children

Kim is the middle-born child of Kris Jenner and Robert Kardashian. Photo / Getty Images
Kim is the middle-born child of Kris Jenner and Robert Kardashian. Photo / Getty Images

Kim Kardashian
Madonna
Martin Luther King
Bill Gates
Britney Spears
Jennifer Lopez
Anne Hathaway
Kristen Stewart
Princess Diana
Stella McCartney

LAST-BORNS

Youngest children tend to be likeable and charming.

Other traits they carry are that they are more creative than older siblings, and have a stronger sense of security and confidence.

As their parents have already had other children, they tend to be a lot less strict and are a lot more lenient with their youngest children.

Parents' expectations will also be lower.

As a result, youngest children will generally be less responsible and mature than older siblings, as they constantly feel like others will take the lead.

Famous youngest children

Harry Styles is the youngest of his siblings. Photo / Getty Images
Harry Styles is the youngest of his siblings. Photo / Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence
Cameron Diaz
Harry Styles
Ryan Gosling
Robert Pattinson
Blake Lively
Angelina Jolie
George Clooney
Johnny Depp
Jude Law

- Daily Mail

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