The vast majority of children used to earn more than their parents. However, the situation today is very different. Recent intergenerational mobility research shows that about 90% of those born in the 1940s earned more than their parents, compared to only 50% of those born in the 1980s.
The equal opportunities project – now part of the Opportunity Insights program at Harvard University – The average income of 26 year olds earned in the bottom quarter of income in 2,973 U.S. counties and county equivalents (such as parishes, counties, census areas and certain cities). A 26-year-old with this background, who earns more than the national average for the lower quartile, is said to have managed income mobility upwards.
The researchers found that the neighborhood environment had a significant impact on children's long-term economic outcomes. The chances of earning more than $ 26,090 in adulthood – the national low-quartile average income – decrease with each year that children spend in nearly 1,000 low-income countries. To highlight the significant geographic variation in this pattern, Wall Street reviewed around the clock the 50 districts and district equivalents where average income losses are greatest.
Children who grow up in countries with less concentrated poverty, less income inequality, better schools, a larger proportion of families with two parents and lower crime rates are much more likely to outgrow their parents later in life. The counties where the American dream is dead are among the worst counties you can live in.
Click here to see the places where the American dream died.
Click here to view our detailed results and methods.