House of Commons Library

Social Mobility Index by Constituency SMIC

Published Monday, October 15, 2018

The House of Commons Library's Social Mobility Index by Constituency (SMIC) provides an indication of how likely a person from a disadvantaged background in each constituency is to progress to a higher social status later in life. The SMIC compares constituencies in England using 14 variables which represent four life stages: early years, school age, youth, and adulthood.

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The Social Mobility Index by Constituency (SMIC) provides local level estimates for Westminster Parliamentary constituencies in England (constituency data is not available for Wales and Scotland). It is based on the methodology used in the social mobility index by local authority published by the Social Mobility Commission in: State of the Nation 2017: Social Mobility in Great Britain.

The Library’s SMIC provides constituency level comparisons and rankings for the 533 constituencies in England using 14 variables representing four life stages from early years to adulthood. As with the Commission’s work, this index addresses the question:

What are the differences between different local areas in the chances that a child from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background has of doing well as an adult?”(State of the Nation 2017: Social Mobility in Great Britain)

 

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The first part of this Briefing Paper provides background information about the SMIC (Section 1); analysis and maps of the overall SMIC rankings (Section 2) including the interactive SMIC dashboard (Section 3) which is available to download for each constituency in England; shows how the SMIC rankings differ in each of the four life stages, from Early years through to Adulthood (Section 4), between and within each English region (Section 5) and with regards to large cities or small towns based on the ‘city/town classification’ of constituencies (CBP-8322) published by the Library (Section 6).

The SMIC rankings for each of the constituencies in England (overall, within each region and for each of the four life stages) are given in Appendix 1. Appendix 2 provides technical detail on how the SMIC has been collated: its methodology and variables, including: information about each variable; the data coverage and limitations; and how outliers, which can skew an analysis, are dealt with.

The chart below shows the proportion of constituencies in each region within each 20% band of the distribution. The actual number of constituencies in a region in each 20% band is given in table 2.2. on page 8 of the paper.

The data suggests that 77% of constituencies in London are among the highest ranked 20% in England. London is the only region in which there are no constituencies that fall into the lowest ranked 20%. The South West region has only one constituency – South West Devon -ranked among the highest ranked 20%.

Half of the constituencies in the East Midlands region are ranked within the lowest ranked 20% of constituencies, a third in Yorkshire and The Humber followed by 23% in the North West.

London does not top the regional rankings at each life stage. The highest scoring region based on adulthood life stage rankings is the South East with 40% of constituencies in the region being ranked among the top 20% in England. Just 11% of constituencies in London are ranked among the top 20% reflecting the high costs of living in the capital.  England’s other cities do not match London with just 12% of constituencies in “Core Cities” among the top ranked 20% of constituencies.

SMIC Constituency Dashboards

There are two dashboards presenting relevant SMIC data for a constituency of choice. These include:

  • Actual values for each of the 14 variables and the range of values among the 533 constituencies in England;
  • Index scores and rankings for each variable and life stage;
  • Comparison with the five highest and lowest ranked constituencies

The Social Mobility Index by Constituency dashboard is available in the accompanying Excel file: “SMIC dashboard.download.xlsx”. The second version of the SMIC dashboard is available online on the HC Library’s website Local Data section. This SMIC online dashboard allows comparisons between constituencies.  

         

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8400

Authors: Lukas Audickas; Grahame Allen

Topics: Children and families, Equality, Further education, Higher education, Incomes and poverty, Local authorities: education, Ofsted, Pre-school education, Schools, Students

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