Rome

Social mobility in Italy unchanged since late 1990s

Education remains key social 'elevator'

Social mobility in Italy unchanged since late 1990s

Rome, December 18 - It is difficult for Italians to change their social standing according to an annual report on social cohesion presented on Tuesday. The report was compiled by the national social security institute (INPS), Istat statistics agency and labour ministry. Istat figures from 2009 show that 62.6% of employed people found themselves in a different social class than their parents. This figure changed little since 1998, said the report. In absolute terms women were more socially mobile than men, respectively with 65.9% and 60.6% reaching different positions. Family origins weigh heavily on a person's ability to move up the social ladder, as does the related issue of access to education, according to the study. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) figures for 2010 showed that a person whose father did not complete secondary education had only a 10% chance of obtaining a university degree - and therefore of improving his or her social position - compared to 35% in France and 40% in Britain.

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