Equality of opportunity: See how where you live impacts where you're going

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6 2013 11:54 p.m. MDT

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Associated Press
Absolute mobility: 43.2

Relative upward mobility: 35

Odds of reaching top fifth starting from bottom fifth: 8.6

Absolute Upward Mobility: The measure of the average economic outcome of a child from a below-median income family. "In areas with higher absolute upward mobility, children from low-income parents earn higher incomes on average as adults," the study FAQ said.

Relative Upward Mobility: Measures the difference in incomes between a child from a low-income family and a high-income family in a given area. Smaller values of this number correspond to greater relative mobility, "i.e. a smaller difference in outcomes between children from low vs. high income families."

Odds of reaching top fifth starting from bottom fifth: Researchers looked at children whose parents are in the bottom 20 percent of the national income distribution and calculated the fraction of the group to reach the top 20 percent of the national income distribution in each area.

Commuting zone: As part of the study, the researchers divided the U.S. into 741 Commuting Zones, which are similar to metro areas but also cover rural areas. They are typically named after the biggest city in the zone.
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