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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Class segregation 'on the rise'
A family in silhouette
The study said social segregation affects life chances
A UK social atlas suggests that British society is becoming more segregated by class, researchers have said.

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

Changing social status is represented on the map, published on Monday.

Report author Dr Bethan Thomas said it showed that "where you live can limit or assist your life chances from the cradle to the grave".

Dr Thomas added: "Our conclusion is that Britain is becoming increasingly segregated across all ages by class, education, occupation, home ownership, health status, disability and family type."

Most people think they are average when asked. In most things most are not
Professor Daniel Dorling

Her team's findings are published in Identity in Britain: A cradle-to-grave atlas.

It found that:

  • An average child in the wealthiest 10% of neighbourhoods can expect to inherit at least 40 times as much wealth as a typical child in the poorest 10%
  • In some areas, 16-to-24-year-olds are 50 times more likely to attend an elite university than in others
  • In the most impoverished parts of the country young adults in this age group are almost 20 times more likely not to be in education, employment or training than those in the wealthiest neighbourhoods
  • There are no large neighbourhoods where under-five-year-olds from the highest social class, spend time with any other class of children other than the one just beneath them

Professor Daniel Dorling, co-author of the report, said: "Our atlas shows that what is normal changes rapidly as you travel across the social topography of human identity in Britain.

"Most people think they are average when asked. In most things most are not."

Wealth gap 'widest in 40 years'
17 Jul 07 |  Business
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27 Mar 07 |  UK Politics
Attainment 'influenced by class'
30 Sep 05 |  Education

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