Explore How Income and Wealth Changes Across Generations

Feb 26, 2013

This interactive tool by Pew's Economic Mobility Project displays not only which Americans are more likely to exceed or fall short of the income and wealth held by their parents, but—for the first time—by how much. It provides a unique way to analyze absolute mobility in America and drill down into the specific effects of education level, race, and number of earners present in a household.

Some of the key data points show:

  • 83 percent of Americans exceed their parents’ family income by at least $1,000.
  • Half of Americans exceed their parents' family wealth, and 47 percent have at least $5,000 less wealth than their parents.
  • Having a college degree is associated with absolute upward mobility at all income and wealth thresholds and is especially important for upward wealth mobility from the bottom.
  • Blacks are less likely to experience absolute upward income and wealth mobility than are whites.
  • A greater proportion of dual-earner families surpass their parents' family income than do single-earner families.

Explore the interactive, Income and Wealth in America Across Generations, at Pew's state and consumer initiatives website.

Explore the interactive

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