The worst places in Wales to grow up poor (and the best)

How much people achieve in life can be affected by factors beyond their control.

Former industrial areas of Wales where manufacturers have left are the worst places to grow up poor if you want to get on in life, according to a major new analysis.

Areas like Neath Port Talbot, Blaenau Gwent, Wrexham and even Pembrokeshire are the hardest places for people to overcome early difficulties in life.

More prosperous rural areas like Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan and Ceredigion top the list with Wales biggest cities Cardiff and Swansea coming in mid table.

Perhaps surprisingly, Merthyr Tydfil also performs well in the major study, which looks at the factors which can help people move up the social ladder at different stages of life.

The research has been done to try to identify the obstacles to social mobility that cause social divisions and bitterness and leave families battling problems with unemployment and debt that seems to be passed down between generations.

It has been done by the Social Mobility Commission led by former Labour cabinet minister Alan Milburn.

The authors state: “[High] levels of poverty in Wales have an impact on every life stage.

"Currently, nearly a quarter (23%) of all individuals in Wales live in poverty – higher than in all regions in England and Great Britain, except London and the West Midlands.”

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