The Elon Musk Effect? Intelligent men become fathers later in life, but have more children, research shows
- Men who score higher on intelligence tests become fathers later in life
- And they’re also more likely to have more children, experts say
Besides 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 that men who score higher on intelligence tests become fathers later in life compared to those with lower IQs.
And they’re also more likely to have more children, experts say.
Researchers analyzed more than 900,000 Norwegian-born men born between 1950 and 1981.
Besides 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 a conscription test as teenagers, with questions about vocabulary, arithmetic and numbers.
They were scored based on their IQ, with a score of one referring to an IQ of less than 74, while a score of eight represented the most intelligent people with an IQ of more than 119.
Data was also collected on how old the men were when they first became fathers and how many children they had.
Analysis showed that men with 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 percent of cognitive abilities had their first child at the mean age of 30 and had two children in total.
“Meanwhile, men who scored in the bottom 20 percent had their first child at the average age of 27 and had 1.8 children in total.”
In the journal Biology Letters, the team at the Frisch Center for Economic Research Foundation wrote that this pattern appeared to hold steady 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 under the age of 30 or over the age of 35 had become less common in recent cohorts.
Elon Musk, a father of 10, reportedly has an IQ score of 155. His first child was born in 2002, shortly before his 31st birthday, but sadly died of sudden infant death syndrome when he was 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 a co-founder of Microsoft and once the richest man in the world.
He was 40 years old when he had his first child, Jennifer, who was born in 1996.
The most common age for having children in the past 250,000 years is 27 – while fathers consistently outnumber mothers, study shows
Scientists have found that for the past 250,000 years, the most common age to become parents is 27.
It also found that fathers were consistently older than mothers, with an average age difference of 7.5 years, according to the Indiana University study.
A child’s DNA has between 25 and 75 genetic mutations that distinguish it from that of their parents, and the types of mutations that occur depend on the age of the parents.
The researchers used 25 million genetic variants in children whose parents had a known age at conception to train a model to predict the age of the parents.
The researchers used 25 million genetic variants in children with parents whose age at conception was known to train a model to predict the age of the parents (stock image)