Leadership

People born in September may be more successful—here's why

People born in September may have an edge over the rest of us, according to a recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That's because in the U.S., children with September birthdays are usually the oldest ones in their grade when they start school, and that can make a big difference later in life, according the study.

"Being an older age at school entry increases children's college attainment and reduces the likelihood of being incarcerated for juvenile crime," according to the research, which looked at the school records of children born in Florida between 1994 and 2000.

Many states use September birthdays as the cut-off for new students to enroll in kindergarten. Such cut-off dates mean the oldest kids in a class or a grade will be nearly a year older than the youngest, the paper points out. Students born in late August may start school and be the youngest in their class, whereas those born in early September could wait until the following school year to enroll, making them the oldest in their class.

On average, September-born children were about 2 percent more likely to attend college, 3 percent more likely to graduate from college, and 7 percent more likely to graduate from a competitive or selective college than their peers who were born in August, according to the research.

The economists did caveat their findings by demographic, explaining, "We find that the estimated effects are concentrated in the white, middle of the distribution of socioeconomic status children."

Jack Dorsey is CEO of both Twitter and Square
Teresa Kroeger | Getty Images
Jack Dorsey is CEO of both Twitter and Square

People who weren't born in September can take heart though, as other research points to a myriad of factors that may predict success.

For example, a study from the University of Chicago found that height was key, and that "taller workers receive a substantial premium in earnings." Even the first letter of your name can impact your chances at success, according to a study by the University Of Colorado Boulder. People with names that start with letters further down the alphabet experienced, "significant and substantial negative effects on outcomes in high school, educational attainment and first labor market experiences," likely due to "reduced opportunities in alphabetically-ordered searches."

In an analysis of names and careers on its site, LinkedIn found that for men, one syllable names, like Bob and Jack, dominated the C-suite. The post cites an expert who suggests the shortened versions of names often "denote a sense of friendliness and openness."

Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

And though some uber successful people like Alibaba founder Jack Ma, were born in September, none of the America's three wealthiest billionaires were. Though Bill Gates may have been older in his grade-school classes thanks to an October birthday, Jeff Bezos was born in January — and Warren Buffett? His birthday is in August. With a net worth of $78.8 billion according to Forbes, he turned out just fine.

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