Where is The Best Place to Grow Up? How Does Your Hometown Compare?

If you come from an average-income family in the Pittsburgh area, which county gives you the best chance to earn more?

screenshot from nY times


Two researchers at Harvard University, Raj Cherry and Nathaniel Hendren, have published a study on the impact of location on poverty and mobility in the United States. The study, reported in the New York Times, is troubling for the poor in Allegheny County.

The study finds that Allegheny County is only 29 percent better than the rest of the counties in the country for income mobility for children in poor families. The authors suggest those families would fare better if they moved to either Butler or Fayette County.

“Every year a poor child spends in Butler County adds about $150 to his or her annual household income at age 26, compared with a childhood spent in the average American county. Over the course of a full childhood, which is up to age 20 for the purposes of this analysis, the difference adds up to about $3,000, or 11 percent, more in average income as a young adult.”

The news is better for children of average-income families in Allegheny County, who fare better than 37 percent of the country in improving their income over their lifetime.

The researchers found five factors that contribute to strong upward mobility.

  1. Less segregation by income and race
  2. Lower levels of income inequality
  3. Better schools
  4. Lower rates of violent crime
  5. Larger share of two-parent households

You can read more from the study here.



Categories: The 412