A surprising map of where it’s hardest to escape poverty in America

January 23, 2014

 

Which parts of the country do you think have done the best job ensuring that children born to working-class families do better than their parents? California, with its booming tech industry? New York, with its financial wizards? Utah, with its deep social ties and communitarian values?

Try Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Mississippi do the worst job helping kids advance.

That's what a careful analysis of new income data from Harvard's Equality of Opportunity project shows.  The underlying study, which Jim Tankerlsey wrote up here, is fascinating and challenging -- it suggests that economic mobility, contrary to what many thought, hasn't changed much over the last 50 years. But it also found that geography is a massive predictor of future mobility. Head over to the map to see where your county ranks.

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