5 Research-Backed Reasons Eldest Children Are The Best

Eldest siblings tend to think they’re the kings and queens of the family. They were born first, so it only makes sense that they get the most attention and affection, right?

Youngest and middle children would beg to differ, but it turns out science mostly supports the eldest’s bragging rights.

Numerous studies have shown that birth order plays an important part in development. How much influence it has is a point of contention among experts, but regardless, there is something to be said about being the oldest one of the bunch.

If you’re an eldest sibling, take a look at the benefits of your birth order below. If anything they prove first is definitely not the worst.

1. Older siblings might be smarter.

Research suggests that eldest children have higher IQs on average than their younger siblings. In a 2007 study of 250,000 Norwegian young adults, firstborn men had an average IQ 2.3 points higher than their younger brothers.

Researchers believe the difference is due to environment rather than genetics. Eldest children often “teach” their younger siblings, which can help them to better retain information, according to the authors. Also, as a family grows, parents have less time to spend with each child.

“Every time you add a child, you’re diluting the intellectual environment of everyone in the family,” the researchers wrote in the study’s conclusion.

2. They could be more responsible.

Forging the path for their fellow siblings means eldest children learn some serious responsibility early in life. According to Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, eldest siblings tend to be the ones that focus the most on family loyalty and traditional achievement. As a result, they’re often seen as more obedient and responsible.

3. They might be more successful.

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