Chicago lags four other major cities in income mobility

Chicago lags four other major cities in income mobility
Detail from a New York Times graphic showing the odds of rising to another income level in certain areas of the U.S.

Bootstraps, anyone?

The chance that a child from a Chicago family at the bottom income level can ever climb to the highest level is lower than in four other major cities – New York, Los Angeles, Houston or Philadelphia. A Chicago child raised in a low-income household has a 6.1 percent chance of earning more than $70,000 by the age of 30, compared to a 9.6 percent chance in Los Angeles and 9.7 percent in New York City.

These data come from research on income mobility across the country by a team of Harvard University and University of California Berkeley economists and presented in a compelling series of interactive graphics published by The New York Times on Monday.

Judging by how much your parents make, or where you grew up, the graphics allow you to gauge, on average, how much you can expect to earn over a lifetime.

The idea that geography matters isn’t a far-fetched one. Look at income divisions within Chicago. Most residents can probably agree – growing up on the North Side of the city is an entirely different experience than being raised on Chicago’s impoverished West and South Sides, which have higher unemployment rates and more crowded schools.

Check out The New York Times graphics here.

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