social mobility

life chances & social mobility

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Prime Minister's Strategy Unit
LIFE CHANCES & SOCIAL MOBILITY :
AN OVERVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE
Stephen Aldridge, 30th March 2004
Note: this paper contains an analysis of relevant data and research to
facilitate discussion. It does not represent Government policy
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CONTENTS
1. What do we mean by life chances and social mobility?
2. What are the facts about life chances in Britain?
3. What are the main determinants or drivers of life chances?
4. What are the implications for Government policy?
5.…read more

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WHAT DO WE MEAN BY LIFE CHANCES AND SOCIAL
MOBILITY?
Social mobility describes the
movement or opportunities for
movement between different social
groups and the advantages and
disadvantages that go with this e.g.
Equality of income. Opportunities for social
opportunity & Fairness in mobility are one dimension of an
social mobility outcomes : individual's life chances.
absence of
Life chances (income) poverty Life chances refer to the
opportunities open to individuals to
better the quality of life of
themselves and their families.…read more

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CONTENTS
1. What do we mean by life chances and social mobility?
2. What are the facts about life chances in Britain?
­ Incomes and employment
­ Health
­ Vulnerability to crime
­ Other aspects of quality of life
3. What are the main determinants or drivers of life chances?
4. What are the implications for Government policy?
5.…read more

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DIFFERENCES IN THE QUALITY OF LIFE ENJOYED BY
DIFFERENT GROUPS ARE APPARENT IN A RANGE OF
INDICATORS
Quality of life varies with:
­ socio-economic status or social class
­ ethnic group
­ gender
­ geography (where you live)
This is reflected in indicators such as:
­ levels of income and wealth
­ opportunities for employment / risk of unemployment
­ physical and mental health
­ the likelihood of being a victim of crime
­ and various other indicators of quality of life
5…read more

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OVER THE PAST 20-25 YRS THE INCOMES OF THE BETTER-OFF
HAVE RISEN FASTER THAN OTHER GROUPS RESULTING IN
INCREASING NUMBERS EXPERIENCING RELATIVE POVERTY
Growth in real household disposable incomes before housing costs Proportions of households with incomes below 40%, 50%
and 60% of the median
£ per week, 2001 prices
%
700 25
600
20
500
400 15
300
10
200
5
100
0 0
4
6
8
0
71
73
75
77
79
81
83
85
87
89
19 1
71
73
75
77…read more

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THOSE AT THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE INCOME
DISTRIBUTION ARE LESS LIKELY TO MOVE BETWEEN INCOME
GROUPS THAN THOSE IN THE MIDDLE
Around half the
Where in the income distribution individuals spent the majority of
individuals in the
their time over the period 1991-2000
bottom quintile of the
Original position 1991 income distribution in
% of individuals Bottom Second Third Fourth Top All 1991 spent all or the
Quintile Quintile Quintile Quintile Quintile individuals majority of years in
that quintile from
All years in…read more

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PEOPLE IN UNSKILLED OR SEMI-SKILLED OCCUPATIONS ARE
AT MUCH HIGHER RISK OF UNEMPLOYMENT THAN THOSE IN
PROFESSIONAL AND MANAGERIAL OCCUPATIONS
Unemployment rates by previous occupation 2002, %
12
10
8
6 Men
4 Women
2
0
ls
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d
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ni
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&…read more

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THE UK HAS HIGH RATES OF GENDER INEQUALITY
COMPARED WITH OTHER COUNTRIES
Gender inequality: pay and employment "gaps"
100%
(av. female gross hourly earnings as % av. male
95%
Portugal
Italy Belgium
gross hourly earnings)
Denmark
90%
Gender Pay Gap
France
Greece
Spain
85% EU15
Sweden
Ireland Germany
80% Netherlands
Austria
UK
75%
70%
50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Gender Employment Gap
(female employment as % of male employment)
Source: Gender pay gap - Eurostat 1998 data; Gender employment gap - Eurostat 2000 data.…read more

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ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS ARE MORE LIKELY TO
HAVE LOWER INCOMES
Distribution of equivalised disposable income* of head of household by ethnic group, 2000/01
100%
Average weekly men's pay
90%
2000 £
80%
70% Indian 307
60% White 297
50% Other Black 287
40% Chinese 264
30%
Black 254
Caribbean
20%
Pakistani 222
10%
Bangladeshi 142
0%
White Black caribbean Black non- Indian Pakistani/
caribbean Bangladeshi
Bottom quintile Second quintile Third quintile Fourth quintile Top quintile
*After deduction of housing costs
10
Source: Households below average…read more

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