Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Source:Insee.

 Coverage:Metropolitan France.

chart 20.01 and chart 20.02 are based on the 2013 Labour Force Survey conducted by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques – Insee). chart 20.01 shows access to the baccalauréat, broken down into five-year age groups (based on participants’ ages at the time of the survey). It does not include qualifications that are equivalent to the baccalauréat. Those surveyed may have obtained their baccalauréat during initial education or later in life (in the case of those who returned to their studies).

chart 20.02 shows access to higher education, broken down into five-year age groups (based on participants’ ages at the time of the survey). Participants who stated that they were studying or had studied at a higher education institution were counted as having accessed higher education, regardless of whether they went on to obtain a qualification at this level.

chart 20.03 is based on the 2003-2005 and 2011-2013 Labour Force Surveys. The level of qualification obtained by young people aged between 25 and 29 according to their social background is averaged across the 2003-2005 and 2011-2013 periods. Those surveyed may have obtained their highest qualification during initial education or later in life (in the case of those who returned to their studies).

A child’s social background is determined on the basis of the profession and socio-occupational category (PCS) of their living parents. The PCS of the child’s father is used where this information is available and that of their mother where not. The PCS of a parent who has retired or is unemployed is based on their last job.

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20 level of education according to social background

This page has been updated. Read 21. level of education according social background in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

Children whose parents work as managers or in middle management are more likely to succeed in their studies. They are proportionally more likely to obtain a baccalauréat, enrol in higher education and achieve higher education qualifications. However, inequalities have been reduced by the fact that access to higher education has improved most significantly for those from the most disadvantaged social backgrounds, although they still remain marked.

Secondary and higher education made strong progress up until the mid-1990s. This is reflected in the fact that they became increasingly accessible to people from all social backgrounds. Despite this, variations between children from different social backgrounds remain, although they have been somewhat mitigated.

In 2013, 71% of young people aged between 20 and 24 held a baccalauréat (chart 20.01). The democratisation of education over the course of the 20th century meant that people from all social backgrounds were more likely to obtain a baccalauréat. 59% of those aged 20-24 whose parents are manual workers or employees have a baccalauréat. This percentage is twice that recorded for previous generations: only 28% of those now aged 45-49 whose parents were manual workers or employees hold this qualification. This increase in the number of young people obtaining a baccalauréat is also found among children whose parents sit at the top of the social ladder, although the increase was less marked (86% compared to 69%, i.e. a factor of 1.3, as compared with 2.2 for the children of manual workers and employees), hence the shrinking gap between children from different social backgrounds. However, for all ages, children whose parents work as managers or in ‘middle management’ remain the most likely to obtain a baccalauréat.

As a result of continuing efforts to broaden access to secondary education, higher education institutions accepted many more students in the early 1990s. In 2013, 59% of young people aged between 20 and 24 had or had had access to higher education (regardless of whether they graduated), as compared with only 32% of those now aged between 45 and 49 (chart 20.02). This improved access to higher education was again most significant for children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, to such an extent that the gap between those from different social backgrounds was reduced. As a result, among young people aged between 20 and 24, children whose parents work as managers or in middle management were nearly twice as likely to be studying or have studied at a higher education institution as children whose parents are manual workers or employees (79% compared to 46%). In the case of people aged between 45 and 49, they were three times more likely to be studying or have studied at a higher education institution (58% as compared with 20%).

For the 2011-2013 period, 65% of young people aged 25-29 whose parents work as managers or in middle management obtained a higher education qualification, as compared with 31% of children whose parents are manual workers or employees (chart 20.03). The former group was also more likely to achieve a higher level of education: for the 2011-2013 period, 30% of them obtained a Master’s degree, diploma of advanced studies (Diplôme d’études approfondies – DEA), specialised graduate diploma (Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées – DESS), PhD or qualification from a Grande École, as opposed to only 7% of those whose parents are manual workers or employees. However, there was little variation between children from different social backgrounds in the case of vocational higher education short courses: 14% of children whose parents work as managers or in middle management obtained a higher technical certificate (Brevet de technicien supérieur – BTS), university technology diploma (Diplôme universitaire de technologie – DUT) or equivalent qualification, as compared with 12% of children whose parents are manual workers or employees. These proportions are fairly similar to those recorded for the 2003-2005 period.

📄 Source:Insee.
 Coverage:Metropolitan France.

How to cite this paper :

LE RHUN Béatrice. Level of education according to social background. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 20, 50-51 [Accessed 03/26/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_ES_20-level_of_education_according_to_social_background.php

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chart 20.01 and chart 20.02 are based on the 2013 Labour Force Survey conducted by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques – Insee). chart 20.01 shows access to the baccalauréat, broken down into five-year age groups (based on participants’ ages at the time of the survey). It does not include qualifications that are equivalent to the baccalauréat. Those surveyed may have obtained their baccalauréat during initial education or later in life (in the case of those who returned to their studies).

chart 20.02 shows access to higher education, broken down into five-year age groups (based on participants’ ages at the time of the survey). Participants who stated that they were studying or had studied at a higher education institution were counted as having accessed higher education, regardless of whether they went on to obtain a qualification at this level.

chart 20.03 is based on the 2003-2005 and 2011-2013 Labour Force Surveys. The level of qualification obtained by young people aged between 25 and 29 according to their social background is averaged across the 2003-2005 and 2011-2013 periods. Those surveyed may have obtained their highest qualification during initial education or later in life (in the case of those who returned to their studies).

A child’s social background is determined on the basis of the profession and socio-occupational category (PCS) of their living parents. The PCS of the child’s father is used where this information is available and that of their mother where not. The PCS of a parent who has retired or is unemployed is based on their last job.

 

Key figures


Share of children of managers or technicians and associated professionals aged 20 to 24 with the baccalauréat
86.2%
 
2013
Metropolitan France
 
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Extract from the chapter "20. level of education according to social background".

Source: Insee
Share of children of manual workers or employees aged 20 to 24 with the baccalauréat
59.4%
 
2013
Metropolitan France
 
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Extract from the chapter "20. level of education according to social background".

Source: Insee
Share of 20-24 year-olds with the baccalauréat
70.5%
 
2013
Metropolitan France
 
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Extract from the chapter "20. level of education according to social background".

Source: Insee
Share of children of managers or intermediate occupations aged 20 to 24 entering higher education
78.5%
 
2013
Metropolitan France
 
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Extract from the chapter "20. level of education according to social background".

Source: Insee
  See more key figures  
Share of children of workers or employees aged 20 to 24 entering higher education
46.2%
 
2013
Metropolitan France
 
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Extract from the chapter "20. level of education according to social background".

Source: Insee
Share of 20-24-year-olds entering higher education
59.5%
 
2013
Metropolitan France
 
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Extract from the chapter "20. level of education according to social background".

Source: Insee

20.01 Proportion of people with a baccalauréat in 2013 by age and social background (%)

20-24 years
25-29 years
30-34 years
35-39 years
40-44 years
45-49 years
  
Entire generation
Children whose parents are managers or in middle management
Children whose parents are manual workers or employees
 
 

In 2013, 71% of young people aged between 20 and 24 held a baccalauréat. 86% of young people aged 20-24 whose fathers work as managers or in middle management held a baccalauréat, as compared with 59% of those whose fathers are manual workers or employees.

📄 Source:Insee
 Coverage: Metropolitan France.

You can embed this chart to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

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20.02 Access to higher education in 2013 by age and social background (%)

20-24 years
25-29 years
30-34 years
35-39 years
40-44 years
45-49 years
  
Entire generation
Children whose parents are managers or in middle management
Children whose parents are manual workers or employees
 
 

In 2013, 60% of young people aged between 20 and 24 were studying or had studied at higher education institutions. Within this age group, the figure was 74% for young people whose fathers work as managers or in middle management, against 38% of those whose fathers are manual workers or employees.

📄 Source:Insee
 Coverage: Metropolitan France.

You can embed this chart to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

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20.03 Qualifications held by young people aged 25-29, broken down by social background (for the periods 2003-2005 and 2011-2013)

2003-2005
2011-2013
2003-2005
2011-2013
2003-2005
2011-2013
Employees and manual workers
Managers and middle management (including teachers)
All
  
Higher education course without qualification
Paramedical and social care qualifications
University technology diploma (DUT)/Higher technical certificate (BTS) or equivalent qualification
Diploma of general university studies (DEUG), Bachelor's degree (Licence), 1-year intermediate postgraduate qualification (Maîtrise)
Graduated from a Grande École
Master's degree, Diploma of advanced studies (DEA), Specialised graduate diploma (DESS), PhD
 
 
📄 Source:Insee
 Coverage: Metropolitan France.

You can embed this chart to your website or your blog by copying the HTML code and pasting it into the source code of your website / blog:

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Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
21 - level of education according social background - Anna Testas
Children whose parents work as managers or in the intermediate professions are more likely to succeed in their studies. They are proportionally more likely to obtain a Baccalaureate, enrol in higher education and achieve higher education qualifications. However, inequalities have been reduced by the fact that access to higher education has improved most significantly for those from the most disadvantaged social backgrounds, although they still remain marked [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
22 - level of education according to social background - Béatrice Le Rhun
Children whose parents work as managers or in the intermediate professions are more likely to succeed in their studies. They are proportionally more likely to obtain a Baccalaureate, enrol in higher education and achieve higher education qualifications. However, inequalities have been reduced by the fact that access to higher education has improved most significantly for those from the most disadvantaged social backgrounds, although they still remain marked [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
20 - le niveau d'études selon le milieu social - Béatrice Le Rhun
Les enfants de parents cadres ou de professions intermédiaires réussissent davantage leurs études. Ils sont proportionnellement plus nombreux à être bacheliers, à entreprendre des études dans l’enseignement supérieur et à en être diplômés. Néanmoins, c’est dans les milieux sociaux les moins favorisés que l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur s’est le plus développé, réduisant ainsi les inégalités qui demeurent malgré tout très marquées [Consult the following page in french]


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