Opportunities for upward social mobility limited by the recession

Ipsos MORI research for the Sutton Trust has seen a decline in public optimism about opportunities for advancement, with three-quarters saying the recession will limit Britons' chances for upward social mobility.

Opportunities for upward social mobility limited by the recession

Ipsos MORI research for the Sutton Trust has seen a decline in the British public's optimism about opportunities for advancement, with three-quarters saying the recession will limit chances for upward social mobility.

In summer 2009, the Sutton Trust partially repeated its 2008 survey of the general public on perceptions of the scope for, and the factors influencing or limiting, social mobility in Great Britain.

Since 2008, there has been a 7 percentage point drop (from 50% to 43%) in the number of people who say that opportunities for social mobility in Britain are `about right' and a corresponding increase (from 31% to 38%) in the number saying opportunities are `too low'.

There has also been a 16 percentage point fall (from 54% to 38%) in the numbers who agree that people have equal opportunities to get ahead. The proportion who strongly disagree with this statement (17%) has nearly doubled since 2008.

The survey found that three-quarters of the public believe that differences in income in Britain are too large, although around only half overall (55%, rising to 63% of respondents in the lowest two social classes) believe it is the responsibility of the Government to reduce the differences in income between people with high incomes and those with low incomes.

Technical Details Ipsos MORI interviewed 2,048 members of the British general public face-to-face, in-home using the Ipsos MORI Public Affairs Monitor (an Omnibus study). Fieldwork was conducted 16-21 July 2009. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. Where percentages do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of 'Don't Know' categories, or multiple answers.

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