scorecardStriking maps show how race keeps kids from climbing the economic ladder across the US
  1. Home
  2. Science
  3. Striking maps show how race keeps kids from climbing the economic ladder across the US

Striking maps show how race keeps kids from climbing the economic ladder across the US

Striking maps show how race keeps kids from climbing the economic ladder across the US
LifeScience1 min read
Only half of children today earn more than their parents did.    Mario Tama/Getty Images

  • A new mapping tool from the US Census Bureau and a Harvard-based policy group analyzes the economic mobility of 20 million Americans who are now in their thirties.
  • Across income levels, American Indians saw the lowest levels of economic mobility compared to the national average.
  • But black men saw the most persistent barriers to mobility, regardless of whether they grew up poor, middle-income, or wealthy.

A new mapping tool from Harvard-based policy group Opportunity Insights reveals just how difficult it can be to overcome race-based economic barriers in the US.

While a person's neighborhood can have a significant impact on future earnings, the effects of race seem to run deeper than any town, city, or state line.

In coordination with the US Census, the researchers compiled a detailed record of economic opportunity across individual neighborhoods. The data traces the average household income of 20 million Americans who were born between 1978 and 1983 and grew up in a given Census tract.

The results can be sorted according to race, gender, and parental income, giving a highly nuanced depiction of where - and under what conditions - the American Dream is made possible.

The researchers discovered, for instance, that poor children who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina earn an average of just $26,000 as adults in their thirties. And in Miami, Florida, areas that have more two-parent households tend to have higher rates of upward mobility.

But when we look at children across all income levels and neighborhoods in America, we find a more sweeping picture of how race restricts economic opportunity. Take a look at the maps below.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON




Advertisement