Family Background and Access to Post-Secondary Education: What Happened in the 1990's (Woking Paper 34)
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This paper presents new evidence on the relationships between access to post-secondary education and family background. More specifically, we use the School Leavers Survey (SLS) and the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS)to analyze participation rates first in 1991, and then almost a decade later in 2000. Overall, post-secondary education participation rates rose over this period. However, participation is strongly related to parent’s education, and whereas participation increased for individuals with more highly educated parents (especially those who went to university), they increased rather less, or in some cases (especially for males) declined for those from lower parental education families. The already strong “effect” of parents’ education on post-secondary access became even greater in the 1990’s. Participation rates are also strongly related to family type, but whereas those from two parent families continue to have an advantage over single mother families, the gap generally shrunk in the 1990’s, especially where the mother had university level schooling. We also find a number of interesting trends by province.