Study: Location Matters in Climbing Income Ladder

A new study is being called the most detailed portrait yet of income mobility in the United States and is the first with enough data to compare upward mobility across metropolitan areas.
July 22, 2013
 

A new study is being called the most detailed portrait yet of income mobility in the United States and is the first with enough data to compare upward mobility across metropolitan areas. These comparisons provide some of the most powerful evidence so far about the factors that seem to drive people’s chances of rising beyond the station of their birth, including education, family structure and the economic layout of metropolitan areas.

Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.

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