New figures show that 40% of those whose parents have a low level of education in Ireland are likely to also remain at that level, compared to an EU average of 34%.
Only 28% of those in Ireland whose parents had low levels of education go on to obtain high levels themselves.
In these statistics, released by the European statistics group Eurostat, "low" education defines at most the early years of secondary education; "medium" covers the senior secondary cycles and non-third-level training; and "high" is third-level education such as college or university study.
"In Ireland, if your parents have a low level of education, you're likely to remain at the same level," said Ciara Eustace of the EU office in Dublin.
"This is in stark contrast with, for example, the Czech Republic, where 83% of people whose parents have a low level … move on to a high level."
Ireland fares better when it comes to parents with a medium level of education: 52% of their children moved to a higher level of education compared to the EU average of 33%.
And for those whose parents held a high level of education, Ireland was among the most persistent countries, with 79% of children maintaining that level.