Survey: Birth Order Can Influence Financial Decisions

by Angela Nazworth | April 4, 2012 5:00 pm

Ever since Alfred Adler’s theory on birth order hit the main stream media, psychologists and marketing execs alike have been finding correlations between birth order and consumer habits. A recent survey conducted by[1] indicates that birth order can influence financial decision making.

“Birth order can be an interesting determiner of personality and behavior, which means that sometimes, financial decisions are affected,” said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at “At the same time, it’s important to recognize that birth order is a theory, and that other factors contribute to making money decisions.”

Key findings included …

Firstborns: Among the firstborns surveyed, 87% considered themselves to be financially responsible. This is consistent with Adler’s conclusion of firstborns being highly conservative and organized individuals. However, the results also showed that firstborns were the least likely of the bunch to make contributions to a savings account. Firstborns also scored high regarding taking financial risks, which is contrary to conservatism.

Middleborns: According to Adler, middleborns are a competitive bunch. That might be why they seemed to have fared the best in the survey results. Middleborns received the highest rating in the financially responsible category (88%). Middleborns also took the highest score (65%) regarding contributing money into their savings accounts. And, nearly half of the middle-borns surveyed said that their siblings have asked to borrow money from them.

Lastborns: Lastborns, according to Adler, often take the most risks. But that might not be true regarding financial matters. Only 35% of lastborns surveyed said that they would make risky financial moves. Sixty percent of lastborns with savings accounts reported they put some money into it each month.

Only Children: Only children — who, according to Adler, are quite similar in personality to firstborns — reported taking the highest amount of financial risks (39%).

The full report of the survey can be read at[2].

  1. survey conducted by

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