World Bank Publishes a Study on Countries Where Achieving the “American Dream” Is Simpler than in the US, Czech Republic Ranks 12th Worldwide

Analyzing the intergenerational educational and economic mobility a 2018 World Bank (WB) report entitled Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations Around the World” shows that the “American dream,” a concept associated with a possibility to move upward from a lower social class or economic level to a higher one is more easily attainable in other high-income countries than in the US. Photo: ZM / Brno Daily.

Brno, Sep 5 (BD) – A lead economist of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank and one of the authors of the report, Ambar Narayan, says: “Based on access to unprecedented amounts of data, the report paints a detailed picture of socio-economic mobility across generations for most of the world’s population.” 

The report analyzes the economic and educational opportunities of children and their relation to their family backgrounds. According to Business Insider the key World Bank’s parameter is “the share of children born to parents from the bottom half of a country’s educational attainment distribution but who end up in the top quarter of that distribution when they grow up — that is, how likely it is that someone born into a family with a more modest background can grow up to have similar educational opportunities to his or her peers with more affluent parents.”

12.5% of children born in the United States in the 1980s to parents from the bottom half of the educational attainment distribution ended up in the top quarter. When compared to other 88 countries (out of the total of 135 countries) this figure was higher than the US.

The Business Insider ranked the 31 high-income countries in the World Bank’s database with a higher share of children who were born into the bottom half and ended up in the top quarter.

Ireland ended up at the bottom of the list with 12.9% of children with parents from the bottom half ending up in the top quarter, with Italy ranking 30th on the list. The Czech Republic ranked 12th in the socio-economic mobility, between 13th Taiwan (16,3%) and 11th Israel (16,7%).  According to WB, the country providing the best educational support to lower income families is Cyprus (22,8%); then Denmark (21,1%) and Slovenia (19.2%).

The WB reports that Africa and South Asia, the regions with most of the world’s poorest people, have the average lowest mobility.

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