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Where you stand on the social ladder still strongly depends on your family history.

In the EU, only 3 out of 10 people achieve higher education when neither parents nor grandfathers have a higher education.

But 8 out of 10 people do so when both parents and grandparents have a higher education.

Family history matters more in Southern and Eastern Europe than in the North of Europe.

Higher educational attainment in Europe still strongly depends on the family circumstances. 3 out of 10 people achieve higher education when neither parents nor grandfathers have a tertiary education.
Higher educational attainment in Europe still strongly depends on the family circumstances. 3 out of 10 people achieve higher education when neither parents nor grandfathers have a tertiary education.
© European Union, 2020

Note: The figures depicts the transmission of higher education across generations The bars show the share of individuals reaching higher education attainment by parents’ and grandfather’s educational attainment.
Macro-regions are defined as follows: Baltic refers to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Benelux covers Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. East captures Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Northern Europe is Denmark, Finland and Sweden. South refers to Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. West is Austria, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Source: JRC calculations based on the Eurobarometer on fairness.

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