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."