So much for upward mobility. A new study shows children who are born in poverty in San Antonio and Texas are overwhelmingly likely to remain poor all their lives and die poor, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The new study, done by Harvard University researcher Nathaniel Hendren, studied San Antonio families who were born into families making less than $25,000 for a family of four, essentially the poverty level.
He says the chances of that child growing up to earn $100,000 or more a year were less than 6%.
"As far as big cities go, it was definitely in the mid range," Hendren told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.
He says the chances of getting out of poverty get even lower when you head into the Southeastern United States.
"As you move west, rates of upward mobility increase," he said. "California appears to be among the highest in the country."
In fact, upward mobility occurs most frequently in the Northeast, Great Plains and the Far West.
In Salt Lake City, a child born into a poor family is twice as likely as one born in San Antonio, 11.7%, of earning more than $100,000 a year. In Atlanta and Charlotte, that figure is less than 4%.
A poor child from Seattle is just as likely to end up making six figures as a middle class child growing up in Atlanta.
The study suggests that areas with larger middle classes are more likely to foster upward mobility for everybody. A city that has better elementary schools has a tendency to perform better, as well as areas which have a 'higher level of civil and religious involvement,' like Salt Lake City.
The study found absolutely no correlation between upward mobility and tax or governments policies.