New Research Confirms September Babies Have a Huge Academic Advantage

The difference starts with kindergarten for many kids.
ByRose Walano
Published
Aug 2017
babies born in September have an academic advantage
Photo: Mike Kemp / Getty Images

Parents are always looking to give their kid the best start in life. And when it comes to academics, researchers say a good predictor of school success comes down to whether you give birth in September—or August, for that matter.

New research from the University of Toronto, Northwestern University and the University of Florida confirms that babies born in September have the academic upper hand in the US. That’s because in Florida—and 18 other states—the cutoff date for starting kindergarten falls on September 1, making September babies not only the oldest in their class but also the most developed. The flip side: That means August babies, by default, become the youngest of their class, who are then more likely to struggle to keep up with their older classmates, the researchers say.

And that success that began at age 5 carried through as the children got older, with September babies more likely to attend college and less likely to get sent to jail for committing a juvenile crime. Even more good news for September babies: The study showed they’re slightly more likely to attend a “competitive/selective” institution (by 1.3 percent).

That said, there are plenty of August babies who’ve done okay in life, including Barack Obama, Martha Stewart, Tom Brady and Charlize Theron, to name a few.

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