Finance

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive
Image credit: Shutterstock
This story originally appeared on Business Insider

In many ways, the American dream is in trouble. Increasing inequality means that it's harder than ever to break into the top income brackets from the bottom. 

A new study from some of the most prominent academic economists around, including John Bates Clark winner Raj Chetty and Emmanuel Saez, that was featured in The New York Times finds that there's massive regional variation in how many people crawl out of poverty. 

The key lesson? It's better to be born in the Northeast or on the West Coast than the South and Midwest. Atlanta, Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Detroit are the least upwardly mobile large cities in the country. 

In Atlanta, a child born in the poorest 20% only has a 4% chance of moving to the top 20%. 

Among the things common to upwardly mobile cities were mixed communities of poor and middle income people, rather than intense concentrations; more two-person households; better schools; and higher civic engagement. 

Here are the 10 cities out of the largest 50 in America where somebody born in the poorest fifth of the income distribution has the best chance to make it to the top fifth. 

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

New York City, N.Y.

New York City, N.Y.
Image credit: Shutterstock

9.7% chance of reaching the top fifth from the bottom.
 

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

Boston, Mass.

Boston, Mass.
Image credit: Flickr/rosenkranz

A 9.8% chance.

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

Manchester, N.H.

Manchester, N.H.
Image credit: Flickr/midgefrazel
10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

Sacramento, Calif.

Sacramento, Calif.
Image credit: flickr/dougtone

A 10.3% chance.

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Pittsburgh, Pa.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

A 10.3% chance.
 

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

San Diego, Calif.

San Diego, Calif.
Image credit: SD Dirk via Flickr
10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

Seattle, Wash.

Seattle, Wash.
Image credit: Flickr/dherrera_96

A 10.4% chance.

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

San Francisco, Calif.

San Francisco, Calif.
Image credit: Flickr/Salim Virji

An 11.2% chance.
 

10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

San Jose, Calif.

San Jose, Calif.
Image credit: Ed Schipul via flcikr
10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
Image credit: Dave Gates via Flickr

An 11.5% chance.
 

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  • 10 Cities Where the American Dream Is Still Alive
  • 1. New York City, N.Y.
  • 2. Boston, Mass.
  • 3. Manchester, N.H.
  • 4. Sacramento, Calif.
  • 5. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 6. San Diego, Calif.
  • 7. Seattle, Wash.
  • 8. San Francisco, Calif.
  • 9. San Jose, Calif.
  • 10. Salt Lake City, Utah
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