Jan 24 2014
04:55 pm

This map shows the average percentile rank of children who grow up in below-median income families across areas of the U.S. (absolute upward mobility). Lighter colors represent areas where children from low-income families are more likely to move up in the income distribution.

A study by the Equality of Opportunity Project found that "areas with greater mobility tend to have five characteristics: less segregation, less income inequality, better schools, greater social capital, and more stable families."

In Knoxville, the odds of starting in the bottom fifth in income and reaching the top fifth are 5.6%, just slightly better than the bottom ten cities studied.

Equality of Opportunity Project
Report summary...
City rankings...
Full paper...

bizgrrl's picture

That's a sad message for the

That's a sad message for the South. If you go to the NYTs interactive version you'll see Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are standouts for income inequality. Tennessee fares a little better if you stay away from the 4 major cities.

The economists also found only modest or no correlation between mobility and the number of local colleges and their tuition rates
in Atlanta, the most common lament seems to be precisely that concentrated poverty, extensive traffic and a weak public-transit system make it difficult to get to the job opportunities.

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