Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Study: Firstborn children more ambitious; firstborn girls aim even higher

Study shows that sibling order has an impact on education and ambition.
Study shows that sibling order has an impact on education and ambition.
Frank Martin/Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 6.0MB

Can success in education be linked to your sibling order? A new study has found that firstborns are more ambitious than their fellow brothers and sisters.

Researchers at the University of Essex’s Institute for Social and Economic Research surveyed 3,553 individuals and 1,503 groups of siblings. They found that firstborns not only have higher aspirations, but also higher levels of education.

Gender also plays a crucial role in the study as they also suggested that firstborn girls are far more successful than their younger male counterparts. The New York Times reported that by kindergarten, girls score an average of 58 percent in behavioral and social skills, in comparison to an average of 42 percent scored by kindergarten boys.

How can birth order impact someone’s success? Do firstborns have higher aspirations that push them to become higher achievers?


Frank Sulloway, Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley; Author, “Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives” (1997) - which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year