This paper investigates the effects of sibship size on status attainment across different contexts and subgroups. Resource dilution theory predicts that with larger sibship size, children's status outcomes fall. However, the empirical record has shown that this is not always the case. In this paper we have tested three alternative hypotheses for neutral or even positive effects of sibship size on status attainment on the basis of a large-scale registry database covering the period of industrialization and fertility decline in the Netherlands in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century. Our findings offer support for the family developmental cycle, buffering by kin groups, and socio-economic development as alternative explanations to the resource dilution hypothesis. © 2010.