Your success determined by birthplace

WHERE you are born can determine how successful in life you become, according to a new study by Sheffield University analysts.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 8th September 2007, 8:07 am
Updated Monday, 10th September 2007, 12:47 pm

Their unique atlas shows that British society is increasingly segregated by class, and that birthplaces can affect life chances from cradle to the grave.

It has found that an average child in the wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods can expect to inherit at least 40 times as much wealth as a typical child in the poorest 10 per cent.

In some areas, the atlas reveals, 16-to-24-year-olds are 50 times more likely to attend a top university than in others.

Among under fives children in the highest social class were unlikely to meet anyone other than the class just below them.

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    Infants living in social housing were likely to find themselves in overcrowded homes while those whose parents are home owners are often growing up in small palaces with a surfeit of rooms.

    Young adults aged 16 to 24 in the poorest neighbourhoods were nearly 20 times more likely not to be in education, employment, or training than those in the wealthiest neighbourhood.

    The team compared more than 1,000 neighbourhoods across Britain using data on subjects like health, education and housing.

    Report author Dr Bethan Thomas said: “Our conclusion is that Britain is becoming increasingly segregated across all ages by class, education, occupation, home ownership, health status, disability and family type.”

    Dr Thomas said the atlas provided clear proof that Britain is not the diverse country many believe it to be.

    She said: “There is much more to identity in Britain than identities of religion and ethnicity. Mapping at different ages shows ever more clearly that where you live can limit or assist your life chances from the cradle to the grave.”

    The atlas also shows that people’s perceptions of normality varies distinctly according to where they live.

    Professor Daniel Dorling, a member of the survey team, said: “Most people think they are average when asked. In most things most are not.

    “Most say they are normal, but our atlas shows that what is normal changes rapidly as you travel across the social topography of human identity in Britain.”