Economic Mobility in America

Is the American Dream Alive and Well?

QUICK SUMMARY

This 2007 report, Economic Mobility in America: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?, raised provocative questions about the continuing ability of all Americans to move up the economic ladder and calls into question whether the American economic meritocracy is alive and well. This paper examined whether a rising tide lifts all ships or whether individual effort and talent allow a family's boat to rise above others—or whether economic mobility is the combination of both.

For more than two centuries, economic opportunity and the prospect of upward mobility have formed the bedrock upon which the American story has been anchored—inspiring people in distant lands to seek our shores and sustaining the unwavering optimism of Americans at home. This once solid ground may well be shifting.

This report also discussed the implications of then-new analysis showing that the strength of America's rising economic tide has not benefited significant segments of our citizenry. Gone are the days when a stable, single income was enough to launch the next generation toward growing prosperity. In modern America, upward mobility is increasingly a family enterprise. And during a time of rapidly shifting household structure, this has significant repercussions for the economic mobility prospects of millions of Americans.

Downloads Full Report
Downloads Full Report

National Homeownership Month

Article

37 Researchers Working to Transform Biomedical Science

Quick View
Article

Biomedical researchers are on the front lines of scientific innovation. From responding to global pandemics to pioneering lifesaving cancer treatments, these researchers push past scientific boundaries to solve pressing health challenges. For nearly 40 years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 1,000 early-career biomedical scientists committed to this discovery.

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.