Young people in the UK highly sceptical of social mobility

A recent study in the UK found that a great deal of young adults feel that they will not be better off than earlier generations, and think that social background is more important than talent in social advancement.

“It is typically younger generations who feel more acutely that background determines where you end,” says the commission’s analysis. It found that:

  • 75% of people believe “large gaps” still remain between social classes, highest in the north-east of England
  • 40% of people think it is harder for the disadvantaged to catch up, compared with 21% who think it is easier
  • 46% of people believe that progress depends on social background, compared with 33% who think it reflects talent. Younger people see social background as a bigger influence than older generations.
  • On housing, job security, job satisfaction and their “position in society”, only a third or fewer think they are better off than previous generations
  • 15% of 18 to 24-year-olds think their generation has the best chance of social mobility
  • 37% of people think they are better off financially than a decade ago

Interestingly, the previous board of the commission resigned in 2017, saying there was no “meaningful action” from the government.

How do young people in Hong Kong feel about their future opportunities?

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