Social Class: Social Mobility

Americans often think of their society as one which allows anyone to get ahead, as long as they are willing to work hard. However, the evidence suggests that…
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"Income Mobility" is a reflection of how much equal opportunity a society has--the ability of a child to rise to a higher socio-economic class than the one in which he/she was born (the American Dream). The higher bar in the graph below, the LESS mobility (equal opportunity) that country has; a son's earnings are highly correlated not with their individual talents & efforts, but rather with what their father earned... Source: Corak, 2006 Pop, Public, Teaching, Sociologist, Social Class, Socio Economic Class, Sociology, Empirical Research, Equal Opportunity
"Income Mobility" is a reflection of how much equal opportunity a society has--the ability of a child to rise to a higher socio-economic class than the one in which he/she was born (the American Dream). The higher bar in the graph below, the LESS mobility (equal opportunity) that country has; a son's earnings are highly correlated not with their individual talents & efforts, but rather with what their father earned... Source: Corak, 2006
Children's likelihood of earning more than their parents by birth year and income percentile  The chance that a baby boomer would earn more than their parents was much higher than the chance a millennial would.  Source: Equality of Opportunity Project Parents, Social Justice, Inequality, Income, Economics, Parenting
Children's likelihood of earning more than their parents by birth year and income percentile The chance that a baby boomer would earn more than their parents was much higher than the chance a millennial would. Source: Equality of Opportunity Project
Greater Economic Segregation Is Associated with Lower Mobility  Select U.S. metropolitan areas by economic mobility and neighborhood stratification  Note: The 34 metro areas shown above are represented in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and are among the 50 most populous metro areas, according to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The 12 most populous metro areas are labeled for ease of identification.   Source: Pew Charitable Trusts Metropolitan Area, Atlanta Ga, Surveys, Poverty, Work Hard, Cities, City
Greater Economic Segregation Is Associated with Lower Mobility Select U.S. metropolitan areas by economic mobility and neighborhood stratification Note: The 34 metro areas shown above are represented in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and are among the 50 most populous metro areas, according to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The 12 most populous metro areas are labeled for ease of identification. Source: Pew Charitable Trusts
College Graduates Are More Upwardly Mobile from the Bottom and Less Likely to Fall from the Top and Middle, 2013  There's only a 10 percent chance that a college graduate from the bottom quintile will end up in the top quintile, but a 25 percent chance that a non-college grad from the top quintile will stay there.   Rich kids without a college degree are 2.5 times more likely to end up rich than poor kids who graduate from college.  Source: Pew Economic Mobility Project Education, Social Stratification, Political Leaders, University Degree, Business Degree, College Ad
College Graduates Are More Upwardly Mobile from the Bottom and Less Likely to Fall from the Top and Middle, 2013 There's only a 10 percent chance that a college graduate from the bottom quintile will end up in the top quintile, but a 25 percent chance that a non-college grad from the top quintile will stay there. Rich kids without a college degree are 2.5 times more likely to end up rich than poor kids who graduate from college. Source: Pew Economic Mobility Project
(2 of 2) Social Mobility Matrix, Black Americans  Roughly 16% of white children & only 3% of black children born into the poorest 1/5 of US families will rise to become a member of the top 1/5 by the time they turn 40 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/21/upward-mobility-race_n_6016154.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000047&ir=Black+Voices)  Source: Reeves, Richard V. and Isabel V. Sawhill. 2014. "Equality of Opportunity: Definitions, Trends, and Interventions," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Department Of Sociology, Social Science, Social Science Project, Social Change, Social Disorders, Criminal Justice System, University Of Minnesota
(2 of 2) Social Mobility Matrix, Black Americans Roughly 16% of white children & only 3% of black children born into the poorest 1/5 of US families will rise to become a member of the top 1/5 by the time they turn 40 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/21/upward-mobility-race_n_6016154.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000047&ir=Black+Voices) Source: Reeves, Richard V. and Isabel V. Sawhill. 2014. "Equality of Opportunity: Definitions, Trends, and Interventions," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
(1 of 2) Social Mobility Matrix, White Americans  Roughly 16 percent of white children and only 3% of black children born into the poorest 1/5 of US families will rise to become a member of the top 1/5 by the time they turn 40 years old  Source: Reeves, Richard V. & Isabel V. Sawhill. 2014. "Equality of Opportunity: Definitions, Trends, and Interventions," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Middle Class, Social Issues, Wealth Disparity
Next Time Someone Says 'White Privilege Isn't Real,' Show Them This
(1 of 2) Social Mobility Matrix, White Americans Roughly 16 percent of white children and only 3% of black children born into the poorest 1/5 of US families will rise to become a member of the top 1/5 by the time they turn 40 years old Source: Reeves, Richard V. & Isabel V. Sawhill. 2014. "Equality of Opportunity: Definitions, Trends, and Interventions," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Chance of out-earning your parents by age 30, by year of birth:  1940: 92% 1950: 79% 1960: 62% 1970: 61% 1980: 50%  Source: “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940” by Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren, Robert Manduca and Jimmy Narang Reasons, Make More Money
Opinion | The American Dream, Quantified at Last (Published 2016)
Chance of out-earning your parents by age 30, by year of birth: 1940: 92% 1950: 79% 1960: 62% 1970: 61% 1980: 50% Source: “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940” by Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren, Robert Manduca and Jimmy Narang
The middle-class share fell in almost all U.S. metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014  % point change in the share of adults in middle-income households  Source: Pew Research Center Metropolitan, Pew Research Center, Households
The middle-class share fell in almost all U.S. metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014 % point change in the share of adults in middle-income households Source: Pew Research Center
"The Sad Truth"  Source: http://9gag.com/gag/aOm7wnR?ref=mobile Humour, Vida, Humor, World Problems, Truth, Reality Of Life, Irony, School System, Society
"The Sad Truth" Source: http://9gag.com/gag/aOm7wnR?ref=mobile
Probability of Reaching Top Quintile from Bottom Quintile, 2014  Source: The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/why-is-the-american-dream-dead-in-the-south/283313/) Geography, History, United States, Great Recession, American Dream, America, Map
Probability of Reaching Top Quintile from Bottom Quintile, 2014 Source: The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/why-is-the-american-dream-dead-in-the-south/283313/)
"Going up? Or down?" - This is an illustration from a 1916 advertisement for a vocational school in the back of a US magazine. Education has been seen as a key to economic mobility, and this advertisement appealed to Americans' belief in the possibility of self-betterment, as well as threatening the consequences of downward mobility in the great income inequality existing during the Industrial Revolution. Industrial, Downs, Consequences, Family Income
"Going up? Or down?" - This is an illustration from a 1916 advertisement for a vocational school in the back of a US magazine. Education has been seen as a key to economic mobility, and this advertisement appealed to Americans' belief in the possibility of self-betterment, as well as threatening the consequences of downward mobility in the great income inequality existing during the Industrial Revolution.
In a nutshell, it appears that the benefits of your undergraduate degree in terms of earnings have an impact on your child's lifetime earnings. [click on this image to find a short video & analysis examining social mobility in the US & why the American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe] Source: Haskins et al, 2008., data from the College Board and The Brookings Institution (Read more here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/student_debt_report_final.pdf) Undergraduate Degree, Undergraduate, Student Debt, Terms, Analysis, Report, Parts
Social Immobility in the United States
In a nutshell, it appears that the benefits of your undergraduate degree in terms of earnings have an impact on your child's lifetime earnings. [click on this image to find a short video & analysis examining social mobility in the US & why the American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe] Source: Haskins et al, 2008., data from the College Board and The Brookings Institution (Read more here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/student_debt_report_final.pdf)
63% of all Americans said most children in the U.S. won't be better off than their parents, even though 54% said they are better off than their own parents.  [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe]  Source: CNNMoney's American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International, 2014 Better Life
Social Immobility in the United States
63% of all Americans said most children in the U.S. won't be better off than their parents, even though 54% said they are better off than their own parents. [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe] Source: CNNMoney's American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International, 2014
Upward Mobility in the 50 Biggest Metro Areas. The Top 10 and Bottom 10  Source: Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner (http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/)  [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe] German Language, Dutch Words, Dutch Language, Learn German, How To Speak French, Learn Portuguese, Learn Dutch, Dutch, Deutsch
Social Immobility in the United States
Upward Mobility in the 50 Biggest Metro Areas. The Top 10 and Bottom 10 Source: Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner (http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/) [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe]
This figure plots the difference in average income percentiles for children born to low vs. high-income parents in each year from 1971-1993...  Source: Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner (http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/)  [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe] Higher Income, Economic Research, Average
Social Immobility in the United States
This figure plots the difference in average income percentiles for children born to low vs. high-income parents in each year from 1971-1993... Source: Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner (http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/) [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe]
Median Debt Burden Across Three Cohorts of Young Adults  [follow this link to find a short video and analysis of the Marxist notion of class consciousness: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/1/post/2012/07/class-and-class-consciousness-in-the-wire.html]  Source: National Longitudinal Surveys: (NL566/6B; NLSY-79; NLSY97) Debt To Income Ratio, Debt
Median Debt Burden Across Three Cohorts of Young Adults [follow this link to find a short video and analysis of the Marxist notion of class consciousness: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/1/post/2012/07/class-and-class-consciousness-in-the-wire.html] Source: National Longitudinal Surveys: (NL566/6B; NLSY-79; NLSY97)
Total Debt Across Three Cohorts of Adults  [follow this link to find a short video and analysis of the Marxist notion of class consciousness: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/1/post/2012/07/class-and-class-consciousness-in-the-wire.html]  Source: National Longitudinal Surveys: (NL566/6B; NLSY-79; NLSY97) Risk, Survey Design, Consumerism
Total Debt Across Three Cohorts of Adults [follow this link to find a short video and analysis of the Marxist notion of class consciousness: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/1/post/2012/07/class-and-class-consciousness-in-the-wire.html] Source: National Longitudinal Surveys: (NL566/6B; NLSY-79; NLSY97)
Change in Median Household Income, 2007 to 2012  [follow this link to find an animated video from the PEW Economic Mobility Project that illustrate different ways of thinking about income mobility: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/1/post/2013/01/measuring-income-mobility-and-the-american-dream.html]  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program, Dec. 2013 Median Household Income, Household Income, Empirical Evidence, Household, Change, Infographic
Change in Median Household Income, 2007 to 2012 [follow this link to find an animated video from the PEW Economic Mobility Project that illustrate different ways of thinking about income mobility: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/1/post/2013/01/measuring-income-mobility-and-the-american-dream.html] Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program, Dec. 2013
This map shows the average percentile rank of children who grow up in below-median income families across areas of the U.S. (absolute upward mobility). Lighter colors represent areas where children from low-income families are more likely to move up in the income distribution. To look up statistics for your own city, use the interactive version of this map created by the New York Times Country, Patchwork, People, Economic Justice, Financial Times, Developing Country, Social Capital, Countries Of The World
In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters (Published 2013)
This map shows the average percentile rank of children who grow up in below-median income families across areas of the U.S. (absolute upward mobility). Lighter colors represent areas where children from low-income families are more likely to move up in the income distribution. To look up statistics for your own city, use the interactive version of this map created by the New York Times
Proportion of Families Living in High, Middle, and Low-Income Neighborhoods Metropolitan Areas with Population > 500,000, 1970-2009  [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe]  Source: Bischoff, Kendra and Sean F. Reardon. 2013. "Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009" (http://www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Data/Report/report10162013.pdf) The Neighbourhood, Mother Jones, Class Jobs, Jones
Social Immobility in the United States
Proportion of Families Living in High, Middle, and Low-Income Neighborhoods Metropolitan Areas with Population > 500,000, 1970-2009 [click on this image to find a short video and analysis examining social mobility in the United States and why the so-called American Dream is more of a reality in parts of Europe] Source: Bischoff, Kendra and Sean F. Reardon. 2013. "Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009" (http://www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Data/Report/report10162013.pdf)
"Hard Work Doesn't generally bring success. It's more a matter of luck and connections" or "In the long run, hard work usually brings a better life"  [click on this image to find a short video and analysis exposing the gap between the actual and perceived distribution of wealth in the United States]  Source: World Values Survey, via P.a.p.-Blog // Human Rights Etc. *We couldn't find the year to which this chart refers Distribution Of Wealth, Hard Work, Knowledge, Success
The Actual Distribution of Wealth in the United States
"Hard Work Doesn't generally bring success. It's more a matter of luck and connections" or "In the long run, hard work usually brings a better life" [click on this image to find a short video and analysis exposing the gap between the actual and perceived distribution of wealth in the United States] Source: World Values Survey, via P.a.p.-Blog // Human Rights Etc. *We couldn't find the year to which this chart refers
Rates of Upward and Downward Mobility by Race and Childhood Neighborhood Poverty Level, Among children Born 1955-1970  Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at NYU, has been studying trends and causes of social mobility... (Read more here: http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2009/PEW_NEIGHBORHOODS%281%29.pdf)  [click on this image to find an animated video from the PEW Economic Mobility Project that illustrate different ways of thinking about income mobility] African Americans, African, Equality, Intersectionality, American
Measuring Income Mobility and the American Dream
Rates of Upward and Downward Mobility by Race and Childhood Neighborhood Poverty Level, Among children Born 1955-1970 Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at NYU, has been studying trends and causes of social mobility... (Read more here: http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2009/PEW_NEIGHBORHOODS%281%29.pdf) [click on this image to find an animated video from the PEW Economic Mobility Project that illustrate different ways of thinking about income mobility]
Amazing Infographic! Perceptions of Mobility and Inequality in 27 Countries.    For full-sized image, go here: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/01/31/exceptional-american-beliefs-about-mobility-and-inequality/    [click on this image for a brief video about Americans' attitudes about wealth inequality]
Land of the Free, Home of the Poor
Amazing Infographic! Perceptions of Mobility and Inequality in 27 Countries. For full-sized image, go here: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/01/31/exceptional-american-beliefs-about-mobility-and-inequality/ [click on this image for a brief video about Americans' attitudes about wealth inequality]
The Chance a Child Raised in the Bottom Fifth Rose to the Top Fifth - Find a larger image here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/in-climbing-income-ladder-location-matters.html?_r=1=1=1374508953-DRVCxk+C+rxmibypMe5+Lw&  [click on this image to find an animated video from the PEW Economic Mobility Project that illustrate different ways of thinking about income mobility World, Illustrators, Business Practices, Ny Times, The New York Times, Social Work
Measuring Income Mobility and the American Dream
The Chance a Child Raised in the Bottom Fifth Rose to the Top Fifth - Find a larger image here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/in-climbing-income-ladder-location-matters.html?_r=1=1=1374508953-DRVCxk+C+rxmibypMe5+Lw& [click on this image to find an animated video from the PEW Economic Mobility Project that illustrate different ways of thinking about income mobility
INCREASING PERCEPTIONS OF CLASS CONFLICT IN U.S. No Response
Increasing Perceptions of Class Conflict in U.S. - Sociological Images
INCREASING PERCEPTIONS OF CLASS CONFLICT IN U.S.
Downward and Upward Mobility in the United States: 1940 - 2000  Kopczuk, Wojciech and Emmanuel Saez. 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937" Upper Middle Class, Probability, Essay, Sample Resume, Free Resume
Downward and Upward Mobility in the United States: 1940 - 2000 Kopczuk, Wojciech and Emmanuel Saez. 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937"