Birth order significantly impacts whether children are destined to be a CEO, astronaut or rock star, according to new research.

Firstborns are statistically more likely to become scientists, astronauts, rock musicians – and reality TV stars.

Middle children are more inclined to become Olympic athletes, politicians, CEOs and authors.

While the youngest are most likely to become composers and explorers – and only children are more disposed to becoming artists.

The research paper was commissioned by Disney, makers of Frozen – which explores the relationship between two sisters – to celebrate National Siblings Day which takes place today (Monday 10th April).

Anna Hill, Chief Marketing Officer at Disney, said: “With this research we hope to show the positive differences between siblings – and the strong and lasting influence they have on each other.”

A team of statisticians analysed a random sample of over 500 of the most successful individuals from 11 different career groups to identify statistically significant patterns.

Psychologist Emma Kenny led the research and found evidence supporting the theory that birth order has a tangible and marked effect on career paths.

She said: “The research conducted over the last month has shown that birth order is a significant factor in determining employment role types between siblings – overall there are far more typical cases than exceptions.

Middle-born children were found to be 30 per cent more likely to become company CEOs due to personality traits including competitiveness, flexibility and diplomacy.

And the incidence of middle-children becoming Olympic athletes is 41 per cent higher when compared to other children.

Eldest children were found to be 29 per cent more likely to become astronauts.

And Stephen Hawking is among the 37 per cent of scientists and engineers who were eldest children – often these siblings came from families almost twice as big as the national average.

In families where there are four to six siblings, the eldest children had a 76 per cent higher tendency to choose an investigative career.

Those growing up as an only child were found to be 181 per cent more likely to pursue a career as an artist – thanks to perfectionist and mature personality traits.

For the youngest born, a career in classical music may well await – as they were 50 per cent more likely to follow in the footsteps of Mozart than their older siblings – sensitive and idealistic personality traits were thought to contribute to this finding.

On the other side of the spectrum, explorers, who are, proportionately 12 per cent more likely to be youngest children, were found to come from families 86 per cent larger than the UK average.

Christopher Columbus grew up as one of five siblings, while English sea captain Sir Francis Drake grew up as one of 12.

Emma Kenny said: “As with Disney’s film Frozen, the destiny of two siblings can be very different, however all siblings have an innate bond which should be celebrated – and National Siblings Day is a nice opportunity to do just that.”


Disney’s smash hit Frozen film celebrates the relationship between princesses Anna and Elsa, two sisters with vastly different personality traits and champions a new kind of true love story between two siblings.

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