University graduates are much more likely to think life in Britain is unfair, researchers found.
Fewer than one in three believe they get what they deserve, a survey discovered.
But nearly half of those who never progressed beyond GCSEs – and who are usually poorer – think people tend to get out of life what they put in.
Women are less likely than men to believe adults get what they deserve, the report found.
Those who think society is unjust are also more likely to be politically active, often with Left-wing views. There was little difference between age groups over feelings of inequality.
University graduates are much more likely to think life in Britain is unfair, researchers found (file picture)
The Government-funded British Social Attitudes survey was based on interviews with nearly 3,000 adults.
It said: ‘Although those with lower levels of education are likely to have less wealth than those with degrees, they are still less likely to say differences in wealth are too large.
‘This suggests that these perceptions are not simply driven by an individual’s personal interest and experience of British society.’
The findings are likely to reinforce the perception that a highly-educated and often metropolitan elite cling largely to left-wing economic thinking, while a less favoured majority of the population are happier to accept that some people will make more money than others.
They follow last year’s general election rejection of Jeremy Corbyn’s left-led Labour Party by the ‘red wall’ seats in the north of England.
The survey found that 32 per cent of those educated to degree level thought people get what they deserve, against 47 per cent of people educated to GCSE standard or less.
A similar pattern showed itself when people were broken down by income. Nearly half, 46 per cent, of the poorest fifth of people thought people get what they deserve, against only 37 per cent of the richest fifth.
The findings are likely to reinforce the perception that a highly-educated and often metropolitan elite cling largely to left-wing economic thinking. They follow last year’s general election rejection of Jeremy Corbyn’s (pictured) left-led Labour Party by the ‘red wall’ seats in the north of England
Women were more likely to object to inequality than men. Some 33 per cent thought the deserving usually win out, against 45 per cent of men.
There was little difference between age groups over whether Britain is an unfair and unequal country, the report said. And despite claims that British free-market capitalism makes this country specially unequal, the balance of opinion was similar across western European countries.
The report said: ‘People who think society is unjust or unfair are more likely to engage in political activity. Those who are happiest with the status quo, on the other hand, were least likely to be engaged in political activities, ranging from voting to protesting to contacting a politician or posting about politics online.’