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Top 10 best and worst cities to achieve American dream

Posted: January 16, 2014 7:09 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2014 7:09 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Children born to low income families are more likely to achieve the American dream in Salt Lake City than anywhere else in the United States, according to a recent study.

Researchers analyzed the earning records of millions of people to measure the cities where children born into the bottom fifth of income earners were most likely to end up in the top fifth. Salt Lake City was named the No. 1 city for economic mobility, with an 11.5 percent chance children from low income homes would reach the top fifth during their lifetime, according to a study by The Equality of Opportunity Project.

The study followed children born in 1980 until they turned 30 and measured both their parents' income and the children's income, once they reached a working age. The West was home to the majority of cities where there was a high percentage of upward mobility.

"Some of the strongest predictors of upward mobility are correlates of social capital and family structure," the researchers wrote. "For instance, high upward mobility areas tended to have higher fractions of religious individuals and fewer children raised by single parents. Each of these correlations remained strong even after controlling for measures of tax expenditures."

Three of the ten worst performing cities for economic mobility were in Ohio.
The top 10 cities for upward mobility:

Salt Lake City (11.5 percent)

San Jose, Calif. (11.2 percent)

San Fransisco (11.2 percent)

Seattle (10.4 percent)

San Diego (10.4 percent)

Pittsburgh (10.3 percent)

Sacramento, Calif. (10.3 percent)

Manchester, N.H. (9.9 percent)

Boston (9.8 percent)

New York (9.7 percent)

The bottom 10 cities for upward mobility:

Milwaukee, Wisc. (5.6 percent)

Cincinnati, Ohio (5.5 percent)

Jacksonville, Florida (5.3 percent)

Raleigh, N.C. (5.2 percent)

Cleveland, Ohio (5.2 percent)

Columbus, Ohio (5.1 percent)

Detroit (5.1 percent)

Indianapolis (4.6 percent)

Charlotte, N.C. (4.3 percent)

Atlanta, Georgia (4 percent)

Copyright 2014 Deseret Digital Media Inc.




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