Only 8% of UK artists come from working class background

A new study making waves in the UK finds that people from low-income backgrounds are less likely to become artists.
An artist sketching at Tate Britain

Emerging in the UK in the 1960s and ’70s, David Hockney, David Bowie and the members of the Beatles and Queen have become some of the world’s most-known artists. Many of them grew up in working class families, and their success stories are sometimes invoked as proof of a functioning meritocracy. New research, however, finds that there are half as many creatives from working class backgrounds in the UK now (about 8%) than there were during the supposed “golden age of mobility” in the decades following World War II.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more