Nearly Half Born Poor Stay Poor;
Nearly Half Born Rich Stay Rich;
Most Born in Middle, Stay There.
Study: Fed. Reserve Bank of S.F.
A study released this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reports that nearly half, 44%, of American adults who are in the bottom 20% in income, were born to parents who were also in the bottom 20%; and that nearly half, 45%, of adults in the top 20%, had parents who were also in the top 20%. Most Americans who were born in the middle 60% had parents who also were in the middle 60%.
The cup of inter-generational mobility in the U.S. is thus about half full, and about half empty.
If you were born in the bottom 20%, your chances of ending up in the top 20% are about one in 20: 5%.
If you were born in the top 20%, your chances of ending up in the bottom 20% are about one in 20: 5%.
It's not entirely a hereditary aristocracy and hereditary serfs; but the circumstances, genes, and connections that a person is born with do have a marked impact in this country.
Here's the chart, from this study:
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They"re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST"S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.