Every year, firstborn kids dominate Harvard's freshman class

Harvard Crimson fans celebrate after rushing the field following their 31-24 win against the Yale Bulldogs at Harvard Stadium in their 131st meeting on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesEvery year firstborn kids are the majority at Harvard — check out the stats.

Birth order is said to be a predictor of success later in life, with oldest children traditionally performing better 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 over year. Firstborns always hover around 40% of the freshmen 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 between 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.

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