According to research, people who grew up near London, Manchester and Edinburgh have the best chance of getting a professional job – no matter what social background they come from.
The Social Mobility Commission said children growing up in or near these cities are more likely to go into jobs such as medicine, law or become business chief executives than people from similar socio-economic backgrounds in other areas.
But when it comes to moving from working-class backgrounds to a so-called professional job, people who grew up in outer London, Surrey and Sussex had the greatest chance, according to its 2023 State of the Nation report .
Research suggests that young people have better prospects for higher education, occupation and earnings if they grow up in and around London, even after taking into account their socio-economic background.
As well as positive findings for people’s prospects in and around London, Manchester and Edinburgh, young people who grew up in the same areas were also found to be more likely to be unemployed, economic inactive and lower working-class employed.
On this point, Alun Francis, chair of the Social Mobility Commission (SMC), said: “The data shows why it is as important to look within regions as it is between them.
“And, despite the popular narrative, there is no clear North-South divide.”
The researchers said that although the report shows geographic disparities across the country, there is no simple pattern of good and bad neighborhoods.
People who grew up in Cornwall, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and the Scottish Highlands were less likely to move upwards in terms of social mobility, as well as being more likely to move into a working class job from a so-called professional class background . , the commission said.
Across Britain, people who grew up in Northern Ireland are the least likely to move from working-class backgrounds into a professional job, according to the research.
The Social Mobility Commission said it is harder than ever for young people to buy a home (Dominik Lipinski/PA)
The Commission’s report – described as the first ever detailed regional analysis of social mobility prospects, including education, occupation and wages – also showed that it is now more difficult than ever for young people to buy a home.
The Commission said that people whose parents were home owners were more likely to own their own home than those whose parents did not own a home.
There was also a gender divide, with 64% of women whose parents were homeowners now owning their own place, while 75% of men are in the same situation.
Among those whose parents were not homeowners, 55% of men owned their own homes compared to only 35% of women.
The report suggested that despite girls outperforming boys throughout their school years, women became less likely to experience so-called upward occupational mobility as they moved from lower working-class backgrounds to higher professional jobs – In comparison, 8% women and 14% men.
The commission said young people from Chinese backgrounds outperform all other ethnicities in terms of education, employment and earnings – even if they were born into disadvantaged circumstances.
While students eligible for free school meals – generally accepted as an indicator of deprivation – from black African and Pakistani backgrounds perform better than white British students at GCSEs, the Commission said this does not necessarily translate into better employment. be converted into opportunities.
He said Pakistanis are less likely to be in professional jobs and more likely to be unemployed than white British people of similar socio-economic backgrounds.
But people from Indian and Chinese backgrounds were significantly more likely to achieve so-called long-range upward mobility than their white British peers, the researchers said.
The Commission used data from the Office for National Statistics, including the Labor Force Survey, as well as other academic research for its report.