Upward Mobility: How Randolph County Compares

Image from nytimes.com

Image from nytimes.com

upward mobility:  the capacity or facility for rising to a higher social or economic position

It should come as little surprise that where we choose to live can have a strong impact on our physical, emotional, and economic well being. Concerning the latter, a recent study shows how growing up in Randolph County can effect ones income levels,  no matter where they might live later in life.

Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren are economists at Harvard University. They have been working on a massive data crunching project known as the Equality of Opportunity Project. In version 2.0, they use income data from 40+ million children and parents to identify the impact that growing up in a certain area (county) has on ones money earning abilities later in life.

Higher mobility areas were identified as having five key traits.  (1) less residential segregation, (2) less income inequality, (3) better primary schools, (4) greater social capital, and (5) greater family stability.

Based on the findings, Randolph county ranks very well in helping poor children climb the income ladder. Out of  2478 counties, it ranks 1962nd, or better than 79 percent of all counties in the country. For example, a poor child growing up in Randolph County will make on average $2,770 more than a poor child who grew up somewhere else.

It should also be noted that the income effects of living in Randolph county were positive for average income and rich children, as well as both genders, in all segments.

Image from nytimes.com

Image from nytimes.com

For detailed information on the study, visit http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/

An interactive map using the data set from the project, can be found at nytimes.com

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