Class mobility in the United States. Colors show the percent chance that a child raised in the bottom fifth rose to the top fifth. The top fifth is equal to family income of more than $70,000 for the child by age 30, or more than $100,000 by age 45. Graphic: Chetty, et al., 2013

By David Atkins
23 July 2013 

(AlterNet) – David Leonhardt  has a fantastic piece about social mobility in the United States. It turns out that the American Dream, while getting more and more distant across the board, is still much more possible in some places than in others. What places? Well, surprise surprise:

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.

“Where you grow up matters,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the study’s authors. “There is tremendous variation across the U.S. in the extent to which kids can rise out of poverty.” [more]

The Deep South -- Where the American Dream Goes to Die

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