Monday, February 15, 2016
Granted, it’s a little hard to assign some Presidents a specific birth order position. For example, George Washington’s father had four children with his first wife before the first President was born. Washington was the first of six children from his father’s second marriage. So was he the first born or the fifth born? FDR was the only child from his father’s second marriage, but had an older half-brother from his father’s first marriage. So is he the oldest or the youngest? Still, even by the most conservative accounting, 21 presidents were Middle Children. That’s 48% of all U.S. Presidents. Throw in Washington and it jumps to 51% -- more than half.
The long held, erroneous belief that most U.S Presidents were firstborns can only be concocted if you just consider first born males in their families, not the actual first born. Of course, that means totally disregarding their older sisters, which is just silly. Not to mention misleading. And probably sexist. In reality, only 35% of Presidents were honest-to-goodness firstborns. 37% at best.
On the surface, this appears to be a rare victory for the Middle Child. But when you consider what a mess things are in DC, it’s probably just one more thing we’ll get blamed for.