Study: Economic Opportunity Better in Northeast, Worse in South
They call it the American Dream, but it doesn't seem to be stretching from sea to shining sea.
Residents of mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states experience the highest upward and lowest downward economic mobility—that is, movement along the earnings ladder—while the South and Southeast experience the exact opposite, according to a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project.
To Erin Currier, project manager of the Economic Mobility Project, the message is clear: "When it comes to achieving the American Dream, it matters where you live," she said in a release accompanying the study.
"We know that there are certain drivers of mobility including education, savings and assets, and neighborhood poverty during childhood that are important for economic mobility," said Diana Elliott, Manager of Research at the Economic Mobility Project, discussing the results in a Wednesday call with reporters.
"Past research studying trends in mobility suggests that there haven't been recessionary effects [on mobility] in the past 40 to 50 years," said Elliott. "This is not to say that individuals don't experience income increases/drops over the short-term, but the long-term economic mobility of an entire state is likely to be relatively stable through a recessionary period."
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