Does Your Postcode Code Determine Your Life?
New resesarch reveals that young people’s life chances are determined by where they are born and grow up.
A new pioneering study shows how young people’s life chances are affected by the area they are born and grow up in, this information has been used to develop a new website that compares young people’s life chances by postcode.
www.comparefutures.org was launched in July by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies based on work by researchers at the University of Sheffield and the University of Brighton and funded by the Nominet Trust.
This shows the stark contrast between what young people in different parts of England are mostly likely to be doing at the age of 18. One example the data reveals is that young people in Erdington, North East Birmingham are more than three times as likely to be unemployed as their peers in wealthy South Kensington. Also, despite being just twenty miles apart, young people in affluent Harrogate are seven times as likely to go to an elite university than their counterparts in Bradford.
There are detailed breakdowns by educational, employment, training and caring responsibilities as well as comparing the futures of teenagers in different areas, and comparing an area with the average teen in England.
Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, said ‘We are taught that life is what you make it, that the able will succeed, regardless of background, this shows that where you are born and where you grow up has a huge influence on where you end up.’
Professor Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield, one of the researchers said ‘There are huge inequalities between young peoples' life chances that increasingly depend on where they are born. These inequalities are currently growing.’
Dr Judith Watson of the University of Brighton, the other researcher said ‘While a few young people have a straightforward journey from full-time education into a career, that is no longer the case for most. In some parts of the country what awaits them is the revolving door between unemployment and casual work.’
Annika Small, CEO, Nominet Trust, said “The powerful data available through Compare Futures proves what we’ve known for a long time - the postcode lottery is not a myth but in fact a harsh and very bleak reality for Britain’s young people.
The research is based on census and educational data from the period 2001 to 2005 and is the most up-to-date information currently available for doing postcode-style analysis of young people’s life changes.