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Birth order is said to be a predictor of success later in life, with a family’s oldest child traditionally performing best in school and holding more leadership positions.
A survey given to incoming Harvard freshmen bolsters such research.
More of the incoming class of 2021 are firstborn than any other position in birth order, according to the Harvard Crimson’s freshman survey.
- 41% are oldest children 32% are youngest children 14.5% are middle children 12.4% are only children
The Crimson has conducted the survey for the past five years, and the breakdown pretty much holds up year after year. Firstborns always hover around 40% of the freshman class, and last-born students around 30%. The percentages of middle and only children are more varied and sometimes flip positioning.
However, birth order is just a theory, and one that is contentious even among psychologists. A 2015 study out of the University of Illinois found personality differences among siblings to be so minuscule that they were meaningless.
But other research shows oldest children are more likely to become CEOs and political leaders, a fact former first kid, Harvard freshman, and firstborn child Malia Obama is likely to note to her younger sister, Sasha.