Top 10 counties for upward mobilityJan 27, 2016
Overall, it seems upward mobility in the U.S. is impressively hard to achieve. According to experts, it’s harder now than it has been in the past for individuals to rise out of poverty, and nearly impossible for children to do better than their parents. However, that isn’t the case everywhere.
According to the researchers at The Equality of Opportunity Project, rates of upward mobility vary widely. These varying rates depend on a myriad of factors, including residential segregation, income inequality, family stability and access to quality education.
Urban sprawl also may play a part in an individual’s ability to rise through the economic ranks. Writing in the New York Times, Paul Krugman suggests that in sprawled out cities such as Atlanta, rich and poor neighborhoods are far apart, and systems are rendered ineffective by the city’s immense size. “As a result, disadvantaged workers often find themselves stranded,” Krugman writes. “There may be jobs available somewhere, but they literally can’t get there.”
But, in more compact, dense, culturally and economically diverse areas, the chances for upward mobility become greater. According to The Equality of Opportunity Project, these 10 counties afford the best earnings potentials in the U.S. The “earnings gain” figure in each slide shows the percentage earnings gain from growing up in each county relative to an average place for children in low-income families.