Moving On Up: Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, but Not Others?
Author: The PEW Charitable Trusts
Topic: Financial well-being
Publisher: The PEW Charitable Trusts
Location: United States
Format: Brief
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
What is the difference between those who move up from the bottom and those who don’t? Pew researchers investigated this question and found that a host of factors—including demographics such as education, race, and family employment—play a role in upward mobility. Additionally, Pew’s analysis examined the intersection between income and wealth, and found that the health of family balance sheets—including accumulated savings and wealth—are related to income mobility prospects. Households with financial capital, such as liquid savings or other readily available assets such as stocks, were more likely to leave the bottom of the economic ladder. In other words, movement up the income and wealth ladders was connected, and economically secure families were also the most likely to be upwardly mobile.
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