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New YouGov research reveals how often-speculated differences in character between first and last born children in a family do have some basis.

In short, it turns out to be true that the oldest child in a family feels a greater weight of responsibility, while the youngest child feels a higher level of breathing room.

Splitting out the first and last born siblings in British families with more than one child (86% of the population), a clear divide in personality traits emerges. The most significant difference is in feeling the burden of responsibility – most (54%) first borns say they are more responsible than their siblings, compared to 31% of last borns.

Younger siblings, on the other hand, are more likely to say they are more funny (46% compared to 36% of elder siblings), more easy going and more relaxed.

To some extent age itself, rather than family dynamics, may be responsible for the differing characteristics. Older children, having had more time to get on in life, are more likely to say they are more successful than their siblings.

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