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Intergenerational transmission of disadvantage statistics

EUROSTAT. Intergenerational transmission of disadvantage statistics. Statistics in Focus 27/2013.

Based on a survey conducted with adults aged 25-59 in the 28 member states of the European Union, Eurostat has compiled a new statistics report on the level of education of the survey’s participants and their parents. This allows for measuring generational transmission in educational attainment. Unsurprisingly, the statistics report confirms the tendency of ‘inheriting’ parents’ educational attainment, however, by dividing educational attainment into three categories (low, medium, high) and comparing results between different member states certain trends become clear. The intergenerational level of education is distributed in the following way:

  • Parents with low level of education -> Children: 34 % low, 48 % medium, 18 % high
  • Parents with medium level of education -> Children: 8 % low, 59 % medium, 33 % high
  • Parents with high level of education -> Children 3 % low, 33 % medium, 63 % high
A significant movement for survey participants with parents with a low level of education to a medium level of education can be found in the Czech Republic (83 %), Slovakia (78 %) and Poland (75 %). The largest movement from a medium to a high level of education takes place in France (56 %), Cyprus (53 %), Ireland and Spain (both 52 %) and Greece (51 %).

In turn, a rather strong persistence in intergenerational education transmission with regard to a low level of education can be observed in Malta (73 %), Portugal (68 %), Luxembourg (52 %) and Spain and Italy (both 50 %). Concerning persistency on a high level of education, Romania (82 %), Ireland and Luxembourg (both 79 %), Cyprus (78 %), Belgium (76 %) and Spain (75 %) are ‘leading’. 

EUROSTAT Press release

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