Class system slowing to a halt?

Is the British class system slowing to a halt?

Of those who say they belong to a class, there seems to be a relatively even split between the middle and working class (48% and 49% respectively), suggesting that the growth in the middle class has continued in strength.

The story of British social mobility can best be told by a table segmenting our respondents by the class they said they were and what class they said their parents were.


The largest group, making up almost half (45%) of respondents identifying with a class are those born into working class families who are still working class. This is followed by the three in ten (31%) who were born middle class and have remained middle class. In total, 79% said they are the same class as their parents, suggesting some rigidity to the British class system.

A fifth (21%) say that they are a different class from their parents, with a sixth (15%) in total saying they have moved up the class ladder.

However, as is clear from the graph below, social mobility is declining.

A quarter (24%) of the 55+ age group say they were born to working class parents but are now middle class, whereas only 7% of the 18-34 age group say the same thing.


A final interesting point is that these days just as many of the younger generation say that they have dropped down the social ladder, as those that say they have moved up it.

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18+ from 17th to 20th January 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.