Calif. Study Finds Poor Kids More Upwardly Mobile

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – California children born into low-income families have a greater chance of upward mobility compared to the national average, according to a new legislative analyst’s report.

The report found that income mobility for low-income Californians is slightly higher than many Southern and Mid-Atlantic states and that nearly 25 percent of children born into the state’s poorest families ascend to the top two-fifths of average income levels as adults. Meanwhile, over half of children born into California’s richest families remain in the top income tier as adults.

The study by the nonpartisan state legislative analyst, titled “Income Mobility in California Across Generations,” examined California children born into five different income tiers and compared their wage mobility relative to the national average.

While Californians’ income mobility registered slightly higher than the national average, it’s not simply because they live in the Golden State. Instead, the study says income mobility is largely dependent on factors such as parenting, neighborhood safety and school quality.

“The evidence in this report suggests that California children have higher rates of income mobility because of their parents’ and their own characteristics, not because growing up in California results in more mobility. On average, growing up in California results in somewhat lower adult earnings for children compared to living elsewhere in the United States,” the 20-page report states.