Generations are trapped in a cycle of poverty, World Bank’s report on education concludes

The overall economic mobility across the world has stalled for the last 30 years, and generations of people are “trapped in a cycle of poverty determined by their circumstance at birth,” says World Bank’s report “Fair Progress?” on global economic mobility through access to education.

Based on the achieved level of education of people born between 1940 and 1980, the report established that among developing countries, the proportion of children born in 1980s and receiving a better education than their parents has virtually remained unchanged in relation to the generation of 1960s, whereas in the developed countries, that rate has decreased, even in relation to the generation of 1950s. This means that prospects for upward mobility are limited for children of low-income and less educated parents.

At the same time, however, the report finds that “gender gaps are closing, with girls in high-income countries now outperforming boys in tertiary education and catching up in the developing world.” The authors speculate that “in the not too distant future, the share of girls with more education than their parents will exceed the equivalent share for boys globally.” 

According to the United Nations, more than 260 million youth is not in school, and if the situation continues on current trends, by 2030 half of world’s 1.6 billion children and young people could lose access to basic schooling. The World Bank report highlights however that undertaking major policy actions can reduce the inequality of opportunities.

Read below the overview of World Bank’s publication “Fair Progress? Economic Mobility Across Generations Around the World”:

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