U.K. and U.S. much less socially mobile than Australia and Canada

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Children from poorer families in Australia and Canada have a much greater chance of doing well at school, getting into university and earning more in later life than children in the United States and the United Kingdom.

This is despite the fact that Australia and Canada, alongside the U.K. and U.S., are among the countries with the biggest income gaps between the rich and poor. The U.S. and U.K. also spend a greater proportion of their gross domestic product on schooling.

According to the analysis produced by uOttawa professor Miles Corak, one of the world's leading experts on mobility, Australia and Canada are around twice as mobile as the U.K. and U.S. The study was produced for the two-day summit on social mobility in London, organized by the Sutton Trust and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The compiled international research findings of the summit are the first to compare and contrast education and social mobility levels in the four major English-speaking countries. Many of the key findings are based on a new book, Parents to Children,published to coincide with the summit by the U.S.-based Russell Sage Foundation.

Other evidence presented at the summit finds stark educational differences between the two pairs of countries at different stages of the educational process.

For the complete news release, please visit the summit website.

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