Reaching for the American dream? Your best chances are probably in New York, New Jersey or Maryland.
Those states are best at helping Americans move up the income ladder, both in absolute terms and relative to their peers, according to a groundbreaking new study from the Economic Mobility Project at the Pew Center on the States.
Generally speaking, states in New England and the mid-Atlantic had the most upwardly mobile residents, whereas states in the South had the least mobile populations.
The study, which appears to be the first to try to measure economic mobility at the state level, looked at the incomes of Americans in each state over a 10-year period using data from the Census Bureau and the Social Security Administration. Researchers tracked a group of nationally representative Americans who were age 35 to 39 at any point from 1978 to 1997.
They then examined how each individual’s earnings had changed exactly one decade after the initial income number was collected.
Across the country, the income of the typical American rose by about 17 percent in inflation-adjusted terms during that time. There was great variation among the states, though.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page