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What emerges is a mosaic of places—an American reality in which the dual promises of prosperity and mobility fall into four categories depending on where one looks and where one lives: There are 420 counties where the American Dream is alive and well: places that are both prosperous and conducive to upwards economic mobility.
President Trump carried three-quarters of these counties in the 2016 election, but counties that Clinton carried encompassed 57 percent of the population in the group.
More than any other category, this opportunity-rich swathe of America bridged the partisan divide in 2016.
Our analysis finds a clear correlation between the degree of prosperity or distress in a county and the extent to which it boosts or hinders the future earnings potential of the children who grow up there. counties exerting a negative impact on children’s future earnings, this analysis finds an American Dream unequivocally at risk.
However, exceptions abound: Numerous ostensibly prosperous counties fail to boost economic opportunity for young people from poor backgrounds, just as a handful of economically distressed counties still manage to endow their children with the hard and soft skills needed to climb the ladder. Whether it goes on to further retreat or future renewal will depend on whether the recipe offered by places where it is alive and well proves replicable in the country’s less hopeful corners. While many like to think of the United States as a country where anyone willing to work hard can succeed, the reality for many is more complicated.
They controlled for a large number of individual and family characteristics in order to isolate the effect of place alone, which they call the “.” It measures the percent increase or decrease in income at age 26 relative to the national mean that a child can expect by spending one additional year in any given county.
Some counties have positive exposure effects (boosting incomes), some negative (reducing them)age 26 of children born from 1980 to 1986) by associating them with the prevailing economic conditions in counties from 2010 to 2014.Many Americans have voted with their feet and gravitated towards these idealized locales.The category includes many urban and suburban population centers, and in total 71 million people reside in these places where the American Dream seems to be alive and well.Nationwide, across the 2,869 counties for which we have data, economic prosperity and economic mobility are positively and meaningfully correlated.The correlation is stronger for children from poor backgrounds than it is for children from better-off ones.is a measure of economic segregation that quantifies the gap in economic well-being across zip codes for counties with at least 100,000 people and composed of at least 5 zip codes.Just over 150 counties where the American Dream appears to be alive and well are large enough to have spatial inequality scores.Where the economy thrives, people thrive, and vice versa.The coincidence of growth, mobility, and prosperity in these locales proves that the American Dream is more than a mirage.The results are therefore best interpreted as whether, for example, a county that is prospering today has a history (or not) of boosting economic mobility.Whether the county delivers on or defies past performance remains to be seen.