Spotlight on Poverty: Making Economic Mobility a Priority

Economic opportunity and upward mobility have formed the foundation of the American Dream for centuries and remain at the core of our nation's identity. Yet research shows that the ability to move up the economic ladder from one generation to the next is more limited in the United States than many think. Policy can make a difference. A bipartisan group in Congress wants to make sure it does.

The best available data on economic mobility reveals a very mixed picture of Americans' access to opportunity. On the one hand, there is a glass half full, because the majority of Americans have higher inflation-adjusted family incomes than their parents did at the same age, and this is true across all income levels.

But there is also a glass half empty, because Americans raised at the top or bottom of the economic ladder are highly likely to stay there as adults, a phenomenon called “stickiness at the ends.” Seventy percent of children raised in the bottom fifth of the income distribution will remain below the middle of the income ladder as adults. Among children raised in the top fifth, 63 percent will never fall below the middle. This stickiness challenges the notion that the United States promotes equality of opportunity.

Read the full commentary at spotlightonpoverty.org.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.