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US economic mobility is highest in Maryland, New Jersey and New York: Pew report


Pedestrians on Wall Street in New York City.


Spencer Platt

A new study from the Economic Mobility Project at the Pew Center on the States finds that people who live in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are the most successful when it comes to climbing the economic ladder, ABC News reported. Southern states have the least economically mobile residents.

Specifically, individuals living in New York, New Jersey and Maryland moved up the most in ten years, while residents of Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina were the least successful in improving their economic position, the New York Times reported.

"Where you live matters for your economic mobility prospects," study author Erin Currier told ABC News.

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Researchers studied US Census and Social Security data from 65,000 Americans nationwide, ABC News reported. They looked at several measures of mobility, including how much each person’s earnings changed in ten years.

Over ten years, residents of New York, Utah and Massachusetts saw their incomes rise at least 20 percent, while average incomes for individuals in Alabama and South Carolina increased only 12 percent after adjusting for inflation, the New York Times reported. Nationally, individuals increased their incomes by 17 percent on average.

While the researchers didn’t investigate why states performed the way they did, the Pew Center’s previous research suggests more education, higher savings and assets, lower neighborhood poverty during childhood and the willingness to move to another state promotes individual advancement, Currier told the New York Times.

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