How your siblings are affecting your paycheck

How your siblings are affecting your paycheck


I absolutely love this kind of stuff and found this article from Time magazine really interesting. Have you ever thought about how the birth order of you and your siblings, or your children, has had an effect on everything from intelligence to career success? It's obviously something we have no control over, and somebody has to be first, middle, and last -- but just what does that mean?


How your siblings are affecting your paycheck

Of course this kind of research and the generalized statistics they come up with are hardly across-the-board situations that apply to everybody, but I personally do believe that when you look across a society like ours as a whole you can definitely come up with "more often than not" type generalizations. And it's a little scary to look at some of what they say and see how it fits into each of our families. What patterns does your family follow? Are you typical of your birth order position, or are you the exception to the rule?Here are a few of the more interesting points made in the article:


  • Older siblings tend to be smarter (due to the teaching and role modeling experience they gain mentoring for their younger siblings) while younger siblings tend to be funnier (often using humor to be charming and get their way because they're too small to use physical size).
  • Older siblings tend to score highest when tested for traits of "conscientiousness" (or responsibility and follow-through), while younger siblings generally do better in areas of "agreeableness" (or their ability to get along in the world).
  • While all children are equally likely to play sports, later-borns are more likely to take physical risks and choose more dangerous types of sports.
  • First-borns generally earn more money than their younger siblings, with an average 1% income drop for each sibling as they progress down the birth-order ladder.
  • Middle born children seem to have the biggest challenge by not being the eldest or the youngest, and they are prone to "getting the best of nothing."


Researchers seem ready to admit that these theories are "full of holes" and in many cases don't appear to be true at all. But that being said can you see any similarities in your own family or people you know? I think it's interesting particularly in areas of intelligence and career choices/income levels, because if you're in a positive or negative situation you can be aware of some factors that may be influencing you -- even if it's only ever-so-slightly.

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