Children’s Chances of Upward Income Mobility? That Depends on Where You Live

by Colette Moran

And, more accurately, on your family dynamics, your local schools, your ties to the community, and whether or not your city is an “innovation hub.” 

With income mobility, as with real estate, location matters a lot. According to a New York Times analysis of new research, a lower-income kid in the bottom 20% growing up in Atlanta has a 4% chance of making it to the top 20% vs. an 11% chance for a lower-income kid growing up in San Francisco or San Jose. In other words, depending on where you live in America, upward mobility could be at Scandinavian levels or at the lowest levels found among advanced economies.


 The New York Times

Credit: The New York Times.

The research reveals four main reasons for a greater chance of upward mobility: dispersion of poor families amongst mixed-income families, two-parent households, better schools, and more civic involvement. Things that were not so much significant factors: liberal focal points like taxes (tax credits for the poor/higher taxes for the rich), college tuition rates, or the amount of extreme wealth in the area. 

Read here for more ideas about what an effective agenda for promoting upward mobility would include.


Credit: The New York Times



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