Social mobility in Britain lower than other advanced countries and declining

LSE report: Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America.

Researchers from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) have compared the life chances of British children with those in other advanced countries for a study sponsored by the Sutton Trust, and the results are disturbing.

Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg and Steve Machin found that social mobility in Britain – the way in which someone’s adult outcomes are related to their circumstances as a child – is lower than in Canada, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. And while the gap in opportunities between the rich and poor is similar in Britain and the US, in the US it is at least static, while in Britain it is getting wider.

A careful comparison reveals that the USA and Britain are at the bottom with the lowest social mobility. Norway has the greatest social mobility, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Germany is around the middle of the two extremes, and Canada was found to be much more mobile than the UK.

Comparing surveys of children born in the 1950s and the 1970s, the researchers went on to examine the reason for Britain’s low, and declining, mobility. They found that it is in part due to the strong and increasing relationship between family income and educational attainment.

This is quite old so I assume things are worse now .  I do wonder if the countries that have most mobility (Scandinavia, Germany, Canada) have a greater sense of community/ society, call it what you will. And they are a much flatter (from a social view) places to live.

I am sure that there are other reasons but it always seems that its the ‘socialist’ (from a FOX News perspective ) that do better.  From simple things that all Canadians are “nice”, to Sweden being the home of the middle class leitmotifs, Volvo and Ikea.

I am sure there is far more than that.

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