Policy paper

State of the Nation 2023: People and Places

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) reports on the state of social mobility in the country, building on the fresh approach set out in 2022.


State of the Nation 2023: People and places (PDF)

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Foreword and executive summary

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Mobility outcomes

Chapter 3: Intermediate outcomes

Chapter 4: Drivers of social mobility

State of the Nation 2023 data explorer


The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) reports on social mobility across the UK, in its 2023 annual report, State of the Nation: People and Places.

The report builds on the new Social Mobility Index, which gives a much more systematic way of measuring social mobility across the whole of the UK. Data is now analysed by place and protected characteristics such as sex, ethnicity and disability.

Key points

We measure social mobility across 5 key dimensions (occupation, income, education, housing and wealth) and by outcomes measured at different stages throughout life. There is no single trend for social mobility ‘overall’ because trends differ by outcomes (for example, income or housing).

As well as taking a wider approach to social mobility, we have made progress in how we report on it.

We have done this by looking at full mobility outcomes, intermediate (early-life) outcomes, and drivers, with breakdowns by geography and protected characteristics. The 3 main innovations this year are: new data relating to geography, new data relating to ethnicity and differences between women and men, and new data relating to disability.

We have also improved how we measure socio-economic background with a new 5-part division rather than the original 3-class measure used in the 2022 report.

Published 12 September 2023