Statistics on Social Mobility and Belief Systems

Careers in law, medicine and the media are become more exclusive, while citizens from deprived areas continue to be failed by education. New Statesman provides a summary of (some) social mobility issues in the U.K., including these somewhat startling statistics:

  • Privately educated candidates account for 7 per cent of the population, but occupy more than half of the top professional jobs.
  • 75 per cent of judges, 45 per cent of senior civil servants, and a third of MPs are privately educated.
  • More than 4 in 10 places and Oxford and Cambridge go to privately educated candidates.
  • 600,000 children take GCSEs annually. 360,000 do not get the five good grades required for university or employment (60 per cent).
  • 30 per cent of children on free school meals do not get good GCSEs.
  • Of students getting 3 As at A-Level, just 0.5 per cent were eligible for free school meals.

I am reminded of another set of statistics–these from Foreign Policy on various belief systems in America:

  • Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
  • Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
  • Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
  • Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
  • Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

Additionally:

  • Percentage of Americans who believe in extrasensory perception, or ESP: 48
  • Percentage of Americans who believe in the existence of spells or witchcraft: 19