Social mobility by area

This section shows how different areas in the UK are ranked for 5 different measures of social mobility.

Composite measures by region

The 5 composite measures of social mobility broken down by region are:

Each of these measures combines data from 3 indicators into a single ‘composite’ score to give a more reliable picture of geographical mobility patterns.

For each composite measure, 41 regions in the UK are ranked from the lowest to highest composite score. They are then divided into 5 equally-sized groups (‘quintiles’), from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

We should emphasise that these are purely descriptive statistics and that we are not yet in a position to claim any causal effects of regions on outcomes. And because these statistics are based on sample surveys, they are affected by sampling error.

The 41 regions

We use the ‘international territorial levels’ (ITLs) system developed by the Office for National Statistics. This divides the UK into:

  • 12 regions (‘ITL1’)
  • 41 regions made up of counties and groups of counties (‘ITL2’)
  • 179 smaller regions (‘ITL3’)

The data by geography uses the 41 ‘ITL2’ regions. Each region has between 800,000 and 3 million residents.

The data is based on survey data, mainly from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In future, we hope to combine more years of LFS data to provide breakdowns by the 179 ‘ITL3’ regions.

The 41 ITL2 regions are as follows.

North East (England):

North West (England):

Yorkshire and The Humber:

East Midlands (England):

West Midlands (England):

East of England:


South East (England):

South West (England):



Northern Ireland

Please see our technical annex and main report for more information.