The Elon Musk effect? Intelligent men become fathers later in life but have more children, study finds
- Men who score higher in intelligence tests become fathers later in life
- And they are also more likely to have more children, experts say
Aside from being wealthy entrepreneurs, what do Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have in common?
They all became fathers for the first time after their 30th birthday.
A new study suggests men who score higher in intelligence tests become fathers later in life compared to those with a lower IQ.
And they are also more likely to have more children, experts say.
Researchers analysed more than 900,000 Norwegian-born males who were born between 1950 and 1981.
Aside from being wealthy entrepreneurs, what do Elon Musk (pictured with his son, X AE A-Xii), Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have in common? They all became fathers for the first time after their 30th birthday
The men had undergone an army conscription test when they were teenagers, which involved questions on vocabulary, arithmetic and figures.
They were given a score based on their IQ, with a score of one relating to an IQ below 74, while a score of eight represented the most intelligent people with an IQ above 119.
Data on how old the men were when they first became a father, as well as how many children they had, was also collected.
Analysis revealed men who had higher IQs had their first child when they were older, but also had more children.
Meanwhile there were high rates of childlessness in the lowest scoring group.
Dr Ole Rogeberg, one of the study’s authors, said: ‘Men who scored in the top 20 per cent of cognitive ability had their first child at the average age of 30 and went on to have a total of two children.
‘Meanwhile men who scored in the bottom 20 per cent had their first child at the average age of 27 and went on to have a total of 1.8 children.’
Writing in the journal Biology Letters the team, from the Foundation Frisch Centre for Economic Research, said this pattern appeared to remain stable over time.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife Priscilla Chan with their first daughter Max
However they pointed out that becoming a father below the age of 30, or above the age of 35, had become less common in recent cohorts.
Elon Musk, a father of 10 children, reportedly has an IQ score of 155. His first child was born in 2002, shortly before his 31st birthday, but sadly passed way from sudden infant death syndrome at just 10 weeks old.
In 2021 Mr Musk welcomed his tenth child, Exa Dark Sideræl, with Canadian singer Grimes, via surrogate.
Mark Zuckerberg, who has an estimated IQ score of 152, was 31 when his first child, Maxima, was born.
While there is no record of Bill Gates taking an IQ test, he was co-founder of Microsoft and was once the richest man in the world.
He was 40 years old when he had his first child, Jennifer, who was born in 1996.
Most common age for having children over the last 250,000 years is 27 – while fathers are consistently older than mothers, study finds
Scientists have discovered that, over the last 250,000 years, the most common age for becoming parents is 27.
It was also found that fathers were consistently older than mothers, with an average age gap of 7.5 years, according to the study from Indiana University.
A child’s DNA has between 25 and 75 genetic mutations that differentiate it from their parents’, and the types of mutations that occur depend on the parents’ ages.
The researchers used 25 million genetic variants in children with parents whose ages at conception were known to train a model to be able to predict parental age.
The researchers used 25 million genetic variants in children with parents whose ages at conception were known to train a model to be able to predict parental age (stock image)