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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Birth order

Phillip Singh noted, in the October issue, that a recent survey had revealed certain characteristics of first-born children, including greater attention to detail and a leaning to mathematical subjects, and wondered if these were not stereotypical characteristics of actuaries. He then wondered whether any surveys had been conducted within the profession to support this hypothesis.

I have as yet seen no responses (which could of course imply various conclusions) but you may be interested to know that I am the younger of two children, my mother was the youngest of three children, and my father was the youngest of 13 children. Furthermore, while I have not personally attended to the details of my family tree, I believe I am the only actuary.

Perhaps I am exceptional?