This article was published in 'Britain in 2013 - the nation in focus'. The magazine showcases the diversity of ESRC-funded research on the state of the nation. It is a mixture of academic opinion pieces alongside informed journalistic writing, offering a concise analysis of research and topical issues concerning Britain today. Britain in 2013 reflects on, and offers possible solutions to, the most pressing problems British society faces. The research in this article was supported by the Nuffield Foundation.