Entry to higher education
Data on the percentage of 18 to 20 year olds studying for a full-time first degree, by socio-economic background.
Summary main findings
34% of all 18 to 20 year olds were studying in higher education in 2021.
51% of 18 to 20 year olds from a higher professional background started a higher education course, compared with 21% of those from a lower working class background. This is one of the largest class inequalities reported in State of the Nation 2023.
A similar percentage of 18 to 20 year olds from higher working class (34%), intermediate (35%) and lower professional (38%) backgrounds began studying in higher education in 2021.
- Visualisation for by socio-economic background
- Data for by socio-economic background
- Download for by socio-economic background
Visualisation for by socio-economic background
Percentage of 18 to 20 year olds enrolled in higher education, by socio-economic background (UK, 2021)
Data for by socio-economic background
|Socio-economic background||Percentage (%)|
Office for National Statistics, Labour Force Survey (LFS), 2021
What the data measures
The data shows the percentage of 18 to 20 year olds in the UK who began studying a higher education course in 2021.
Things you need to know
Data used is weighted using LFS probability weights.
The error bars show 95% confidence intervals. These intervals show where we expect the true value from a population to be 95% of the time. For example, a confidence interval with the range of values from 5 to 10 implies that there is a 95% chance that the true population value is between 5 and 10, and a 5% chance that it is outside of this range. The narrower the confidence interval or range, the more precise the estimate. Read more about confidence intervals
Type of data
Read more in State of the Nation 2023 on GOV.UK.
This file contains the following variables:
- Indicator code
- Indicator name
- Area type
- Area code
- Area name
- Time period
- Socio-economic background
- Sample size
- Lower confidence interval
- Upper confidence interval
- Standard error