University of Wisconsin–Madison
Focus and Focus+ Icon

Neighborhood and the intergenerational transmission of poverty

Research shows that poor neighborhoods are an important source of disadvantage for their residents. For children, growing up in a poor neighborhood is associated with reduced educational attainment and lowered adult earnings. For adults, residence in a poor neighborhood is associated with worse health and reduced happiness. Because poor neighborhoods are disproportionately populated by African Americans, Latinos, and low-income individuals, the effects of poor neighborhood environments tend to compound existing forms of individual disadvantage. Further, evidence suggests the effects of residence in a poor neighborhood are greater for children from low-income backgrounds. Neighborhood poverty is an especially important factor contributing to racial inequality and intergenerational poverty.


Inequality & Mobility, Intergenerational Poverty, Neighborhood Effects, Place