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Climbing the Income Ladder--LocationMatters
Old 07-23-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
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Climbing the Income Ladder--LocationMatters

This is an interesting story and graphics that shows lifetime income mobility for counties in the US (mouse over graphics for details). In general--best chances of upward mobility were in the middle of the country, southeast was worst.

Yet the parts of this country with the highest mobility rates like Pittsburgh, Seattle and Salt Lake City have rates roughly as high as those in Denmark and Norway, two countries at the top of the international mobility rankings. In areas like Atlanta and Memphis, by comparison, upward mobility appears to be substantially lower than in any other rich country, Mr. Chetty said.
This section, buried way down in the article, IMO deserved more coverage:
Income mobility was also higher in areas with more two-parent households, better elementary schools and high schools, and more civic engagement, including membership in religious and community groups.
A child raised in a one-parent household is both more likely to be poor and more likely to have an out of wedlock child. And there's no denying that single-parent homes have lower incomes, in general, than two-parent homes. My guess would be that the "reddest" areas on the map are the ones with the largest share of out-of-wedlock births.

Cultural issues and economics: It is often hard to work through cause and effect.
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