Opportunity Atlas Maps Long-Term Impact of Where a Child Grows Up

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the IRS, the Opportunity Atlas follows 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-thirties to answer this question:

Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance at a better life than their parents?

According to this article from Brown University, researchers associated with this project produced six main findings about how neighborhoods shape the trajectories of those who grow up there, including the observation that traditional indicators of local economic success such as job growth do not always translate into greater upward mobility. In addition, they found that historical data on children’s outcomes are a useful predictor of children’s prospects for upward mobility today.

Researchers hope that these data can help identify local solutions to improve outcomes for American children.

The Opportunity Atlas is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.