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Why social mobility matters

A line of people laugh together

Social mobility is for everyone, not just a few. It is about every single person having the chance to succeed. 

Currently, your parents’ occupational class affects where you are likely to end up. A man with a higher professional family background has 20 times better odds than a man with a routine working class background of ending up with a higher professional job (e.g. doctor) than a routine working class job (e.g. bricklayer). 

We believe that where you start in life may help to shape your opportunities, but should not determine where you end up. Instead, your own potential, individual choices and merit determine your outcomes. Your background, such as the place you grew up in or your family circumstances, should not limit your options or future. 

It’s not true that social mobility is getting worse on all counts. In reality, the picture is complex. Occupational mobility has been fairly stable for decades, while on other aspects there is less consensus. 

Nonetheless, there are pockets of real concern. Even if social mobility is not deteriorating, it can still be much harder for some compared to others.  

Our work aims to ensure that the circumstances of your birth do not determine your outcomes in life.