Pathways to Economic Mobility: Key Indicators

The assumption that anyone can get ahead based on capabilities and effort is central to the idea of the American Dream.

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the factors that seem to affect the likelihood that someone will move up, or down, the economic ladder in the United States. It builds on the earlier reports of the Economic Mobility Project.

Previous reports identified significant patterns of mobility in the United States and differences between the United States and other countries, showing broad trends as well as trends among specific groups, such as African Americans and immigrants. In contrast, this report aims to reveal what might be behind those trends by summarizing the primary indicators that seem to be responsible for economic mobility.