A new study from The Equality of Opportunity Project has mapped the 10 best and the 10 worst cities for economic mobility in the United States. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley used millions of anonymous earnings records to measure the chance that someone born into the bottom fifth of income earners reaches the top fifth. A full summary of their findings can be viewed here.
It is interesting to note that the top 10 cities for economic mobility are all located in either the West or the Northeast, with four in California alone. Most of the cities in the top 10 are hubs for the technology sector, social entrepreneurship, and youth culture. The top cities also have strong measurements of social capital, tend to be walkable, and have a culture of mass transit. The fabled American Dream of economic mobility is most achievable in these 10 cities. The percentages represent the likelihood of a child born in the bottom quintile ending up in the top quintile during his or her life.
1. Salt Lake City, Utah (11.5%)