Measuring Economic Mobility in the United States

  • May 2024

Economic mobility refers to changes in a person’s economic status throughout their lifetime. While the “American dream” of moving from economic insecurity to flourishing is a common trope, it is much more complex in reality. Decades of social science research demonstrate that upward mobility is not evenly distributed in the United States; intergenerational mobility is significantly more challenging in locations with histories of racialized segregation and other systemic barriers, for example. Meeting peoples’ needs for quality food, healthcare, and education—among other factors—helps promote overall well-being and mobility for all.


Family & Partnering, Family & Partnering General, Inequality & Mobility, Intergenerational Poverty, Racial/Ethnic Inequality, Wealth