According to data gathered by researchers Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren, when it comes to poor families and income mobility, location matters in Utah — and everywhere else.
Chetty and Hendren's Equality of Opportunity Project uses data to help answer the question of how to improve economic opportunities for low-income children. Data from their study — captured in an interactive graphic at The New York Times — shows how much living in a specific location can add to a child's income in the future.
According to the data, for example, a child growing up in the 25th income percentile in Salt Lake County would make some $1,160 more by the age of 26 than they might've if they had grown up in an "average place." That same child growing up in Morgan County would make some $7,250 more, by comparison. Duchesne County would be best for that child, according to the data, with its added income predicted to fall somewhere around $8,100.
These numbers change when the data is sorted by gender and income percentile. Salt Lake County, for example, produces low numbers for boys ($210) and much higher numbers for girls ($2,830) in the 25th income percentile.
Explore the New York Times graphic showing data for Utah and the other states, or delve into Chetty and Hendren's research on their website, equalityofopportunity.org.