(11 December 2013) – It is well known that there has been a general trend of improved educational attainment in the EU across generations. However, is this general trend visible for all levels of education and in all Member States? A recent report on the Intergenerational transmission of disadvantages published by Eurostat provides some statistical analyses of these questions.
These figures are based on data from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Condition (EU-SILC) survey. The report looks at three different factors which have an impact on the risk of poverty or social exclusion: the transmission from parents to children of the level of education, of the ability to make ends meet and of economic situation.
In 2011, for those with parents with a low level of education, there was a significant movement to a medium level of education in a majority of Member States, with the highest shares in the Czech Republic (83%), Slovakia (78%) and Poland (75%). In Finland and the United Kingdom around a third of respondents had even moved to a high level of education.
However, a persistence of a low level of education was observed among half or more of the respondents only in Malta (73%), Portugal (68%), Luxembourg (52%), Spain and Italy (both 50%). The smallest proportions of low level of education were registered in Lithuania (10%), the Czech Republic and Sweden (both 11%).
For adults with parents with a high level of education, there was a strong persistence of educational attainment between generations in almost all Member States. More than three quarters of respondents had a high level of education themselves in Romania (82%), Ireland and Luxembourg (both 79%), Cyprus (78%), Belgium (76%) and Spain (75%). Fewer than 10% had a low level in nearly all Member States.
In 2011, for adults with parents with a medium level of education, there was a significant persistence of this level of education in a large majority of Member States, with the highest proportions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (both 72%), Croatia (71%) and Austria (70%). However, there was a clear movement to a high level of education in France (56%), Cyprus (53%), Ireland and Spain (both 52%) and Greece (51%).